The Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr Godswill Akpabio has claimed that he was misunderstood for his recent confession that he struck out the name of a Senatorial candidate for Senator Etuk during the 2011 general election.
Mr Akpabio during an exclusive interview with Channels TV breakfast progamme; Sunrise Daily, stated that “I was misunderstood.”
“What happened was, we had a political meeting before the primaries where the list of people were given to me-possible candidates for the Senate in my senatorial district. And I struck off the name of the person that was recommended to me and I said no that, I will prefer another person because the senatorial seat should be zoned to the minority local government.”
The governor emphasised that the name substitution was “before the primaries, long before the general election.”
A 48 seconds video which was uploaded on the internet, went viral as the Governor was seen during a reception for the Good Governance tour in Uyo, admitting that he struck out the name of a candidate in favour of Senator Aloysius Etuk, the current chairman of Senate committee on Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team; so that his Senatorial district can produce the Senate.
Further explaining the situation around the cancelling of name, Mr Akpabio described it as a “political meeting.”
“It was a political conglomeration where we converge and discuss the affair of who should contest the Senate within the rank and file of an in-house arrangement before the primaries,” he said.
He emphasised that the ‘political conglomeration’ was “before the PDP primaries” and we were trying to decide who we should vote for and what area we should vote.”
“And somebody needs to know, this was not a general elction, not even a primary. It was not even an election we were talking about.”
When asked if the meeting was an internal arrangement, the Governor replied with an emphatic no. “It was before the voting where we were trying to decide who we will vote for at the primaries.”
“I am not INEC, even INEC cannot strike out somebody’s name and put another person’s name after an election result has been announced.”
A bemused Akpabio further stated that “Nigerians do not like to hear the truth” as he claimed he made
“Tell the admirers of the uncommon transformation (his administration’s motto), tell the admirers of Governor Akpabio that the governor is a democrat. I will never engage in that type of thing.”
The Governor also claimed that in 2007 he struggled to get the mandate for his election therefore, he was in no way capable of sticking out names.