The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State, has cited insecurity as the main reason why it is yet to officially announce the results of the Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial elections. The seat is currently being held by Godswill Akpabio of the APC who is facing a stiff challenge from Chris Ekpenyong of the PDP.
Why no announcement?: Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, said: “The results are ready, but INEC can’t declare it in Uyo. The law says the election results must be declared at the senatorial district. The report we are getting about the security situation in Ikot Ekpene is that it is not okay for INEC to go there and announce results.”
Igini said the electoral officer in Essien Udom, one of the local government areas in the district, as well as other presiding officers are living in fear. “I have records of presiding officers who were speaking to me in low tones because of where they were and what was going on. God gave the returning officer wisdom, and today he is alive,” he said.
APC’s Akpabio petitions INEC over three things:
- First, he says since INEC has reportedly cancelled the result from Obot Akara, the hometown of his opponent, the commission cannot turn around and announce it. “It is the law that a pronouncement on a result has been made, only a court of law can reverse such decision. An attempt to reverse same is total illegality,” he said.
- Second, he is against a recount of the votes from Essien Udim, Akabio’s own local government area, where INEC had said there were “unresolved issues.”
- Third, he wants INEC to announce the results.
PDP’s Ekpenyong wants INEC to announce the results: “We hereby demand that INEC should without further delay announce the results of the Senatorial District and House of Representatives,” the PDP spokesman, Ini Ememobong, said in a statement.