The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa-Ibom State has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to see Godwill Akpabio’s withdrawal from senatorial rerun as concession to defeat.

In November, an Appeal Court sitting in Calabar ordered a rerun of the senatorial election between Godswill Akpabio and Senator Christopher Ekpenyong, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, Akpabio, who was recently appointed as the Minister of Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari withdrew from the rerun, saying he could not abandon the assignment the president gave him.

People's Democratic Party, PDP flags (Leadership)
People's Democratic Party, PDP flags (Leadership)

Reacting to his withdrawal, PDP’s Publicity Secretary, Ini Ememobong, said, “Our party seriously frowns on the attempts by Senator Akpabio to derail the electoral process in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District as we have on good authority that he intends to use the judicial process to prevent the conduct of the rerun by instituting court actions to compel INEC to accept his purported withdrawal.

“We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to treat the withdrawal letter of Senator Akpabio as a concession of defeat and hold that the APC has no candidate in the forthcoming senatorial rerun due next year.

“Additionally, we ask the commission to ignore and discountenance the shameless demand for the removal of Mike Igini as REC. This call is ill-motivated as he wants REC that will allow him the liberty to concoct results in Essien Udim during the rerun, as that is the only way he can win elections there.”

Akpabio announced his decision in a letter to the Chairman of the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshimhole.