One of the Governorship Aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Chris Ekong has appealed to his party men to sheath their swords and accept the emergence of Mr. Akanimo Udofia, the party gubernatorial candidate, as choice of the people.
Ekong who lost out during last week’s primaries and conceded defeat to the winner, Mr Akanimo Udofia, told mewsmen in Uyo on Wednesday that he, in the true spirit of sportsmanship respected the democratically preferred choice of the delegates at the polls.
The Professor of Economics and former Commissioner for Youth and Sports therefore called on other aspirants who lost out during the nomination exercise to sheath their swords and join hands with the candidate whom he describes as an accomplished son of Akwa Ibom, to see the party to success at the general election.
Our correspondent reports that some of the aggrieved aspirants had faulted the exercise following the last minute acceptance of Mr Akanimo Udofia into the party, and his subsequent emergence at the Poll.
But the University Don is of the opinion that the acceptance of the winner would foster reconciliation and healing which would galvanise the party’s support for Udofia to win the governorship elections in 2023.
“Obong Akanimo Udofia had been declared winner of the APC governorship primaries in Akwa Ibom State. I had since accepted the result as declared by the Party.
“A fair segment of our party men and compatriots have so far reflected an unimaginable proportion of needless grievances by electing to voice their perceived rejection of the result and outcome of that free and considerably a fair rated exercise.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on all other aspirants in the race to sheathe their swords and open the doors for reconciliation and healing to support and work with the flag bearer, Obong Akan Udofia to win the governorship elections come 2023.
“The clearest opportunity open to APC to win the elections in Akwa Ibom State is now. So every obstacle on our road and quest to realize this must be avoided.
“We must accept the choice of the people and that of the party as a sacrosanct mandate that should be allowed to rule the day. This is the greatest price and respect we can pay to building our democracy,” he stated.
Our correspondent reports that some of the aspirants including Senator Ita Enang, former special assistant to Presidential Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs and Senator John Akpanudoedehe, former Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee have protested against the primaries, citing factions in the party, mode and timing of conduct of the primaries and non- recognition by INEC as some of the reasons for their position.
However, Akpanudoedehe who even instituted a case in court against the exercise had withdrawn it.