Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, says no accusing finger should be pointed at him regarding the irregularities in the ongoing rerun election for Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district because he has no interest in it.
The minister, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) withdrew from the poll, contrary to a directive from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
His withdrawal came after he was appointed minister, but INEC had insisted that he remains a candidate and cannot be replaced by his party.
In a statement by Anietie Ekong, Akpabio’s chief press secretary, the minister denied rumours linking him to irregularities in the ongoing election.
He said: “It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.
“The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Rt Hon Nse Ntuen and Rt. Hon Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.
”And just yesterday, the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Hon Ini Okopido at a widely publicized press conference announced that the APC will not participate in the rerun elections.
“So on what basis would any sane human being link Senator Akpabio to whatever is happening in Essien Udim Local Government Area?”