Immediate past Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, and scores of aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) power seekers on Saturday stormed the party’s Appeal Committee to lodge complaints arising from Akwa Ibom State governorship/House of Assembly primaries.
The Chairman of the committee was Dr. Ochim Julius Okputu, from Cross River State.
Gubernatorial aspirants in the state, including the former National Caretaker Secretary, John Akpan-Udoedehe, have disassociated themselves from the purported primaries that resulted in the emergence of Akan Udofia as APC flag bearer in the early hours of Friday morning.
Ita Enang and Augustine Utuk had earlier in a joint statement said they were displeased because of the flagrant irregularities and disregard for security advice by the DSS director in the state, Mohammed Kaumi.
Kaumi, according to them, had advised the primary committee to suspend the exercise “since there was no security assurance at the party office”.
Amid the heavy presence of security operatives, each of the aggrieved aspirants took turn to lay their complaints before the APC panel.
One of the governorship aspirants, Augustine Utuk who spoke to Naija News said he has appealed against the purported primaries that took place in the early hours of Friday, May 27 2022. Pointing out that by the time timetable of APC the event was billed to hold on Thursday, May 26 2022.
According to him, ‘’following the widely publicized standoff that commenced from the airport and culminated at the Udo Udoma/Oron Road Junction, in the ensuing mayhem, electoral materials and committee members who were already at risk were rescued by security operatives to safety.
‘’The process was disrupted. As a result of the incidence the INEC representatives and the head of security operatives announced to all present that due to the security implication the exercise has been suspended.
‘’Persuaded therefore by the charged atmosphere, and the counsel of the security chiefs, my supporters and I retired to our various homes. We were therefore, shocked to hear the following morning that the said primaries were conducted at a time and place as stated.’’
Utuk said he told the Okputu panel that he was intentionally excluded and disenfranchised from the process along with his supporters.
‘’Having not been a party to this process which clearly did not capture my interest and right I call for immediate cancellation of the purported primaries in Akwa Ibom State
‘’I am calling on the committee to take advantage of the one week window by INEC to cause proper gubernatorial primaries following the stipulated guidelines to be conducted as soon as possible in the state’’, he said.
This article was originally published on Nigeria News