The failure of APC in the last general election in Akwa Ibom State was as a result of over dependent on Federal Might and lack of grass-root mobilization. This was the summary of Elder Enefiok Ekefre, a caucus member of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressives Congress, when he appeared before the ongoing Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo.
‘Federal might’ was a term used loosely in the state during the 2019 general elections to connote probable influence of the Presidency in the conduct of elections through federal agencies including INEC, Police, DSS, Army and others. He said the 2019 general election was the most credible electoral process he has witnessed in his over 30 years experience in politics and the electoral process. Appearing before the governorship election petition tribunal as a witness, Elder Enefiok Ekefre also said that his party lost the March 9th 2019 governorship election because they failed to take its campaign to the grassroots as done by the PDP. Elder Ekefre who said he arrived his polling unit by 9:15 am maintained that there was no violence throughout the exercise while INEC officials were very transparent in their conduct. “As an experienced politician I advised the party to embark on the grassroots campaign as that was the only way to dislodge PDP which has been in power for 20 years in the state, but the party ignored my advice and that was why we lost” In a response to Counsel to the petitioner, J. S. Okutepa SAN during his cross-examination, Elder Enefiok Ekefre said he was not a staff of INEC to know the number of people that were accredited during the exercise, but maintained that everything went on smoothly including accreditation.
Also, A PDP Polling agent from Unit 004 in Ward 4, Uruan local government area Wilfred Okon has debunked allegations by a certain APC witness Godwin Jarkwa, on the conduct of the election in his unit. Unlike PW 20, Mr Jarkwa who had no Voter’s card to tender before the tribunal, Mr Okon also confirmed under cross-examination that only those who produced their PVCs were allowed access to go in and vote by the electoral officers. Mr Okon shredded the allegations earlier brought by the said Jarkwa who came to testify for the petitioner as the twentieth witness. Okon also admitted while being led in evidence by Counsel to the PDP Tayo Oyetibo SAN, that he alongside the APC unit agent, signed the result form EC8A, marked as Exhibit RXA 2335 after the collation. The PDP agent said he was at the polling unit all through the elections, which was held in a very free and fair atmosphere, under the watch of security agents. “There was no fake material printed and distributed at the election venue and there was a fair presence of security agents who performed their duties.” “So the allegations by PW20 on violence were absolutely false?” He replied in the affirmative, and went further to echo that his party won with 226 votes compared to 62 scored by APC.