There is no governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State for the 2023 general elections in the list published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
INEC, in the published list at the Akwa Ibom State headquarters, Udo Udoma Uyo which was signed by the secretary, Rose Oriaran Anthony, the name of the APC candidate was conspicuously missing while the names of other party candidates were found.
This may not come as a surprise as the House of Representatives candidate for Eket federal Constituency, Eseme Eyiboh in a press conference a week ago, foretold that the name of the APC Governorship candidate, Akanimo Udofia will not be seen in the INEC list of October 4 but would be captured after court judgement of October 6.
Eyiboh had described the October 4 list as ‘Mike Igini’s’ list saying that the authentic INEC list where Akanimo Udofia’s name will appear will emerge after judgement on 6th October even as he drew strength from the case between Senator Godswill Akpabio and Ex DIG Udom Ekpoudom.
The commission, however, did not provide reasons why the space was left vacant but it’s been reported that APC has been embroiled in an intra-party crisis which resulted in the conduct of governorship primaries in two locations.
The main contenders, former interim national secretary of the APC, John James Udoedehe in the aftermath of the crisis that greeted the party’s primaries moved to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as its governorship candidate and has had his name published by the commission as made available to the public.
The other contender, Ita Solomon Enang, a former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in court challenging the alleged nomination of Akan Udofia as the party’s governorship candidate and whose name was not published by the commission.
Ita Enang had claimed that Akan Udofia was a governorship aspirant on the ticket of the PDP two days before the APC governorship primaries adding that Udofia should not have been nominated to fly the party’s flag.
Udofia, a businessman, has already picked Victor Antai as his running mate and had been busy consulting stakeholders ahead of the electioneering campaign before his name was dropped by INEC in the recently released list of governorship candidates.
Meanwhile, in the INEC list, Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was cleared for the governorship election and his name, published alongside Akon Eyakenyi as the deputy governorship candidate.
The candidates of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Bassey Albert Akpan and that of NNPP, James John Udoedehe also made the list.
Other governorship candidates cleared include Ekpo Ita Bassey of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Udo Anietie Augus as his Deputy; Ezekiel Nya Etok of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Iboro Otu Robert of the AAC.