THE immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday described a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Udom Ekpoudom, as one seeking cheap popularity.
Akpabio said this, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, while reacting to Sunday PUNCH’s interview granted by the ex-DIG.
In the statement titled, “Ekpoudom seeking cheap popularity and unmerited pity,” Akpabio claimed that the retired DIG was never a candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District and, as such, there was no reason for him to be asked to step down.
The statement read in part: “Retired DIG of Police, Udom Ekpoudom, in an interview he granted The PUNCH Newspaper today (Sunday), allegedly claimed to have won the senatorial ticket of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North West District and went further to lie against all known facts that former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, offered him a ministerial position for him to step down from the senatorial contest.
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have dignified these unfounded claims with any response, but for the interest and information of the unsuspecting members of the public, who could be taken-in by this bare-faced lie, we have to state as follows:
“That Udom Ekpoudom was never the candidate of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District and, as such, there wouldn’t have been any reason(s) for him to be asked to step down by Senator Akpabio.
“That the senatorial primary, which he claimed produced him as the candidate, is not recognised by the National Working Committee which is the legally recognised body to organise such an event.
“It is a known fact that senatorial primaries of the party took place across the country on May 28 and not on the May 27, where he purportedly claimed he ‘emerged’ as the ‘candidate.’
“The only recognised primary election for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District was the one ordered and supervised by the NWC of the party on May 28.”
“That it was Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, who was declared winner of the primary, but because of security infractions which characterised the exercise, it was cancelled and a re-conduct of the exercise on June 9 was ordered and conducted, where the Senator, Godswill Akpabio emerged the winner.”