Desperate moves by some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State led by former Governor Godswill Akpabio to have an alliance with the convicted governorship candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obong Bassey Albert in March 11, 2023 election has hit the rock as the Governorship candidate of the APC, Mr. Akan Udofia, has said he will not step down for a convict.
The APC Guber candidate said this during an alliance meeting at former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director, Mr Effiong Akwa’s house.
According to Udofia’s close aide, who pleaded anonymity, his boss highlighted the fact that APC in the last election had made significant impact by winning a senate seat and a seat in the house of representatives.
It was gathered that at the meeting, pressure was mounted on Akan Udofia to jettison the Governorship race and step down for Senator Bassey Albert, otherwise wise known as OBA. According to Akpabio, OBA was more grounded and has followers than Udofia.
But Mr Akwa and others who were at the meeting were stunned when Akan Udofia rebuffed their entreaties, rather insisting that if anyone should step down for another, it should be OBA who should rather step down for him.
Akan Udofia had further hinged his reasons on why OBA should step down for him on the recently held Presidential and National Assembly election, where the APC recorded impressive outing in Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial district while OBA’s YPP had nothing to show for the election.
The source hinted that Udofia made a strong point that APC has shown strength in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly election by winning a senate seat and some seats in the House of Representatives.
With the Governorship and State Assembly election holding in one week’s time, the APC and YPP camp has been thrown into a serious confusion.
Akan Udofia who’s candidacy is currently being challenged by Senator Ita Enang at the supreme court, maintained a resolute stand that there is no possibility that OBA’s criminal conviction will be squashed by the appeal court even though the law does not permit a convict to stand election, hence it will amount to a waste of votes and resources because he cannot be sworn in until he completes his jail terms.
According to his aide, the immunity of the office of governor doesn’t cover a convict to be sworn in as governor. Adding that (Akan Udofia) whose candidacy will be decided next week will make a better option that OBA and his supporters can support.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State described the proposed alliance between APC and YPP as an effort in futility as such marriage can’t stop PDP from winning the governorship election.
The party stated that with the impressive outing recorded at the Presidential and National Assembly election, PDP is fully on ground and ready to win the governorship election.