According to a declaration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has no governorship candidate for the general elections next year (INEC).
The statement is featured in INEC’s publication of governorship candidates, which is put on a notice board at its office along Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State’s capital.
According to the list, signed by INEC Secretary Rose Oriaran Anthony, Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was cleared for the governorship race and his name was published with Akon Eyakenyi as the deputy governorship candidate, while the APC’s name was left blank.
The commission did not explain why the party did not have a candidate for the governorship election in the state, but investigations revealed that the APC was mired in an intra-party controversy that resulted in two different governorship primaries.
In the conclusion of the party’s primaries, a significant contender and former Interim National Secretary of the APC, John James Udoedehe, transferred to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as its governorship candidate, and his name has been published by the commission.
The other candidate, former advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari Ita Solomon Enang, is currently in court, fighting the supposed selection of Akan Udofia as the party’s governorship candidate.
Enang said that Udofia was a PDP governorship aspirant two days before the APC governorship primary, and that he should not have been nominated to fly the party’s flag.
Before his name was withdrawn by INEC from a recent list of governorship candidates, Udofia, a businessman, had already chosen Victor Antai as his running mate and had been actively consulting stakeholders ahead of the campaigns.
With the APC absent from the governorship election, pundits believe it would be a three-horse battle between the PDP’s governorship candidate, Eno, the YPP’s candidate, Akpan, and the NNPP’s governorship candidate, Udoedehe.
According to the commission’s list, 36 governorship candidates from 36 political parties will compete in the election.
Ekpo Ita Bassey of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Udo Anietie Augus as his deputy have been cleared, as have Ezekiel Nya Etok of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Iboro Otu Robert of the AAC.