Sunday 24 February 2019

Election: Akpabio, Ekpenyong Relocate To INEC Collation Centre

The senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Godswill Akpabio, and his main challenger in Saturday’s election, Chris Ekpenyong, have relocated to INEC’s collation centre in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state, ahead of the announcement of the election result.

Mr Akpabio, a former governor of the state, is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is seeking re-election to the Senate.

Mr Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the duo has been at the centre for more than seven hours. By 12:30 pm, they were still in the centre, anxiously awaiting the official declaration of the result by the electoral body..

It was learnt that the decision of the two top politicians to relocate to the centre was borne out of fears that the electoral process in the area could be manipulated to favour either party.

Supporters of both politicians are already claiming victory in the Saturday’s election.

The atmosphere around the collation centre looked tensed amid the heavy presence of army and police. Party agents, members, and supporters are seen milling around outside.

A fight almost broke out between a media aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel and a media aide to Mr Akpabio, which prompted the security officials to send journalists out of the centre.

INEC official, who did not want his name mentioned, told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission as still receiving results from different local government areas that make up the senatorial district.

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