A major political statement was on Saturday made in Akwa Ibom State in the rerun elections into the Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency and Ibiono Ibom State Constituency as the All Progressives Congress-backed Young Progressives Party candidates emerged winners.
The Independent National Electoral Commission fixed February 3, 2024 for the rerun and by-elections in 26 states.
The victory of the YPP candidate, Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, has thus increased the House of Representatives seats won by the APC/YPP coalition in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, from where the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, hails, to three out of four.
Another APC backed candidate for Ibiono Ibom State Constituency in Uyo Senatorial District, Hon. Moses Essien, was also returned as the duly elected member of the State House of Assembly.
It would be recalled that the entire structure of the YPP from the wards to the state; its governorship candidate, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan; his running mate, retired Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuquo Amba; and all senatorial candidates of the party among others publicly collapsed the party structure into the APC at the Political Pavilion of the President of the Senate in his Ukana home.
The victory of the two APC-backed candidates is seen in political circles as a master stroke and potent political message to the ruling party in the state of the determination and readiness of the APC to take over the reins of government in 2027.
Akpabio congratulated the duo immediately after they were announced by INEC as winners in the two rerun elections.
He described it as the demonstration of the people’s acceptance of the party in the state and the nation.
He said: “Let me congratulate the victors at the rerun poll.
“Their victory is a demonstration of the endorsement of their representations at the National and State Assemblies respectively.
“It is also a demonstration of the peoples’ acceptance of the party in the state and national levels.
“I thank the electorate for coming out in their thousands to cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
“This is just the beginning of the journey to take over the political leadership of the state and to finally link the state to the centre.”
Akpabio called on the electorate to “continue to keep faith with the party by voting for the party and its candidates at all future elections, starting with the local government elections coming up later in the year”.