House Of Assembly PDP Primaries: Akpabio Suffers Defeat, Esuene, Okon Umana, Effiong Bob, Others Rejoice


The Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum and

governor of Akwa Ibom State,  Chief  Godswill Akpabio suffered massive

defeat in his party's last Saturday's House of Assembly primaries.

According to our investigation, the governor who on the eve of the

primaries had held a closed door meeting with his aspirants of choice and

was sure of grabbing 26 of the 31 tickets in the state suffered a huge

shock as most of the candidates he supported were roundly defeated or

out-played at the primaries.
Most painful to Akpabio is the fact that his close aides have been

fingered to have been the architects of his defeat in some of the state

constituencies. In Abak, where the present Commissioner of Information,

Aniekan Umanah hails from,  Akpabio is said to have anointed one Emmanuel

Udosen, a lawyer, who is said to be married to his cousin as the next

member of the state house of assembly.
Aniekan Umanah was given the task of telling the incumbent, Mr. Friday

Iwok, to step down for Udosen. He was also mandated to pay each of the

delegates the sum of three hundred thousand naira as transport and welfare

allowance. But to the chagrin of the governor, Umanah, instead of sticking

to plan, failed to deliver the message to Iwok and paid the delegates one

hundred thousand naira only on behalf of Udosen and pocketed the rest.

Friday Iwok being a politician, who knows his onion, capitalized on the

ineptness of Umanah and is said to have approached the delegates and paid

them two hundred thousand naira each in exchange for their votes. At the

end of the poll in Abak, Iwok was returned as the Party's flag bearer for

the forth-coming general election. The governor is said to be highly

disappointed in Aniekan Umanah who has been described by many as an

opportunist and a self-centered political neophyte for truncating his

plans to install his in-law as the representative of the Abak state

constituency in the House of Assembly.
Unlike Abak, where the governor was not in support of the return bid of

the member of the state constituency; Ayang Akanimo Ayang, the member

representing Eket state constituency in the House of Assembly had the

blessings of Governor Akpabio and was tipped to retain his seat in the

However, at the end of the primaries in Eket, the returning officer,

Ekpong Edemumoh declared Mr. David Lawrence, a onetime vice chairman of

the council as person who will represent the Party in the forth-coming

house of assembly. According to a delegate who spoke on the condition of

anonymity, the defeat of Ayang does not have anything to do with the

governor; rather he is the architect of his own down fall. Ayang according

to our source is one politician who failed to empower his people and

abandoned everybody that was instrumental to getting into the House of

Assembly in 2011.
A protégé of the senator representing Eket senatorial district, Senator

Helen Esuene, Ayang failed to realize that there will be a payback time

when he will need the support of the people. He concentrated on amassing

wealth for himself and did not attract any tangible people-oriented

project to the state constituency. These accounted for the massive

resistance against his return to the House. Even when the Party's appeal

committee ordered a rerun of the primary election in Eket state

constituency, it was manifestly clear that Ayang who lost to David

Lawrence by just a vote was in for a worst defeat as the elders of Eket,

like one time minister of housing, Chief Nduese Essien, Senator Helen

Esuene, General Anthony Etukudoh, Professor Etie Ben Akpan and others had

mobilized delegates to cast overwhelming votes in support of David

Lawrence. This accounted for his chickening out of the rerun, conceding

In Nsit Ibom state constituency, Akpabio's candidate of choice and former

state chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Akamba Awah was defeated

by the incumbent chairperson of the local government council, Mrs. Mfon

Ekong who is said to be a political ward of former secretary to Akwa Ibom

state government, Umana Okon Umana who only last Friday defected to the

All Progressive Congress (APC) in a carnival like rally attended by the

top hierarchy of the Party at the national level. Though a former military

administrator of the state, a strong follower of Akpabio and director

general of Udom's campaign organization, Wing Commander Idongesit Nkanga

hails from Nsit Ibom and was strongly in support of Awah, he could not

however save him from defeat.
The drama in Nsit Ubium state constituency did not come as a surprise to

many political observers in the state. According to a source who was a

statutory delegate at the primary election, the stakeholders were out to

humiliate Akpabio and this they did using people who were closed to the

Though the Party confirmed that there was no election in Nsit Ubium state

constituency as there was wide spread violence purportedly orchestrated by

political thugs and cultists hired by the chairman of the council,

Ekpedeme Akpan, in support of one of the candidates, Onofiok Luke. The

violence took place right under the noses of the police officers of the

base where the election was conducted and other security agents.

In fact, the election venue was highly militarized to intimidate the

delegates of other contestants. A source who hails from Nsit Ubium claimed

that some days before the primary election, which was a straight contest

between Ekokoi Solomon, a lawyer and university lecturer and the incumbent

member, Onofiok Luke, who was a protégé of Akpabio until he fell out with

the governor on account of what has been described by many as his variable

nature;  former senator Effiong Dickson Bob who is said to be interested

in being a deputy governor, and is alleged to have been schemed out of the

2011 senate race by Akpabio and his then SSG, Umana Okon Umana with the

help of their foot soldiers like Bassey Albert and Luke,  convened a

At the meeting were the chairman of the local government council, Akpan

and Akpabio's aides who hail from the area like Iniobong Ekong, Barr.

Essien Esema and Dr. Aniefiok Edem, a very senior Party chieftain in the

state, and a onetime commissioner of finance and former governorship

aspirant from Uyo senatorial district where it was decided that Akpabio

must be humiliated at all cost.
The first being to return Onofiok Luke back to the House of Assembly,

where he will emerge as the next speaker of the House; secondly, after the

primary election, Udom should be stopped from emerging as the Party's

standard bearer in Sunday's guber primary and ensure that Okpolupm Ette or

Nsima Ekere emerges as the Party's governorship candidate in Sunday's PDP

governorship primary.
To achieve this, Bassey Albert was to provide the war chest needed to

execute the project, the senior special assistant to the governor on

security matters, Iniobong Ekong, was to recruit security agents to

provide cover for the hired thugs and cultists that will be recruited from

Akwa Ibom and neighbouring Cross River state. Indeed, the thugs had a

field day pouncing on delegates who were known to be none supporters of

Luke right under the watch of the security agents who did nothing.

When the delegates ran for their lives, supporters of Luke were said to

have taken over the entire process, casting multiple votes in his favour

and forced the returning officer to declare him winner.

According to a very reliable source, the delegate's list was replete with

several repeated names of delegates, this further gives credence to the

allusion that officers of the party also compromised the process to favour

To further embarrass the governor, the first lady's convoy which

passed through Idoro road later in the day was pelted with stones, sachet

water, bottles and every available missile by irate supporters of Luke.

The governor, who is said to have been livid with the report of the

primary election, is believed to be in a dilemma as to what to do. Though

the party appeal committee declared that there was no election in Nsit

Ubium state constituency and called for a rerun on Monday, it was later

put on hold on the alleged directive of Akpabio who is believed to have

been blackmailed by the former senator to declare Luke winner in return of

support for his guber aspirant.
Akpabio unwittingly is believed to have fallen for the trap set out for

him and is likely taste the bitter sauce he once served the former senator

in 2011.
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