Akpabio won convincingly —EKPENYONG
A former Political Adviser to Akwa Ibom State Government, Udo Ekpenyong, has said the election of Chief Godswill Akpabio, as the senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, was a reward for his performance while he served as the governor of the state.
This came as he dispelled the insinuation that votes recorded during the senatorial election were more than the accredited voters.
He maintained that this was due to the problems of the card reader technology which prompted the presiding officers to resort to manual accreditation so that eligible voters would not be disenfranchised.
Ekpenyong, from Ukanafun, spoke when he testified as a witness of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the Akwa Ibom State National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal, sitting at the Customary Court, Dutse .
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Inibehe Okorie, had approached the tribunal to challenge the election of Chief Akpabio on the grounds that elections were not held across the senatorial district.
But taking the witness box during cross examination by counsel to the APC, candidate, Chief Assam Assam, SAN, Ekpenyong, insisted that Akpabio’s victory was guaranteed because he had performed excellently well as a governor, a feat which he said was appreciated by the people of the senatorial district.
Responding to a question by the APC counsel on whether he had known Chief Akpabio before the election, the former Political Adviser said: “Yes he is a grassroots man. As a governor he did a lot for the people. He provided free medical treatment for children, the aged and pregnant women. He empowered the youths and assisted people to become ministers and ambassadors.”
Ekpenyong also dispelled the insinuations that the number of votes announced for Chief Akpabio did not tally with the number of voters indicated by INEC documents to have accredited to participate in the election, saying in his unit and many others across his Local Government Area, Ukanafun, the card reader technology had packed up prompting the INEC officials to resort to manual accreditation which was not captured by the document the APC lawyer had relied upon.