Ahead of the special convention of the ruling All progressive congress (APC), A chieftain and former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Chief Don Etiebet, has warned that the party might not have valid governorship and presidential primaries if the issue of valid delegates list from Akwa Ibom is not addressed.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday in Abuja, Etiebet who spoke on behalf of other party leaders from Akwa Ibom state, said the party had been foisted with persons who did not win any election, at any congress monitored by INEC, as State Executives in the state.
The former Petroleum Minister, who was flanked by the immediate past National Caretaker secretary of the party, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe and former House of Representatives member, Mrs Iquo Inyang, described the recently conducted governorship primaries in Akwa Ibom as inconsistent with the provision of Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act.
He thereby appealed to the leadership of party to intervene and have the situation redressed by directing the conduct of proper governorship primaries in line with Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act.
He warned that the party in Akwa Ibom state may not be in the position to present any validly nominated candidate in Akwa Ibom State except the issues are redressed immediately.
“We hasten to warn, that the Akwa Ibom State challenge of using delegates that were not voted for, in line with the extant Electoral Laws if not addressed, the same delegates maybe used for the Presidential primaries. Surely if that happens then the Presidential primaries run a risk of not producing a validly nominated candidate in line with the Electoral Laws. This should not happen.We fail to see what anyone stands to gain should this fate befall our great Party in Akwa Ibom State.
“To clear the coast for our Party to decide its fate properly, we decided not to dwell anymore on the issues in the court room of the Court of Appeal and have now decided to withdraw forthwith from participating in further proceedings at the Court of Appeal in respect of Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe’s Appeal. Happily, he has respected our opinion to withdraw the appeal, in the hope that the entire matter be submitted to the Party to review, and address based on the facts and circumstances on ground.
“We are all aware that the Panel sent from the National Headquarters of our great Party arrived the Victor Attah International Airport in a Private jet and was received by the Party’s South South Zonal Secretary. Thereafter they rode in convoy in a bus and were to go to the authorized INEC recognized Venue at Sheergrace Arena for the conduct of the gubernatorial primary election where all the accredited delegates had gathered.”
While calling for caution, the APC leader said: “We therefore take this opportunity to appeal to the leadership of our great Party to intervene and have the situation redressed by directing the conduct of proper gubernatorial primaries in line with Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act immediately before it is too late.
“Meanwhile, we call on all our Party faithful to remain calm and keep faith with the Party while we wait for the Party’s intervention.”