Recent findings have shown that, shortly after his infamous defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), on August 8 last year, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in collaboration with some of his kinsmen and in a calculated bid to shoot up the voting population and strength of Essien Udim Local Government Area, is alleged to have created structures with the mandate to go round surrounding LGAs like Ini, Ika and some nearby suburbs in Abia State to lure and mobilize people who are prospective voters to come and register in Essien Udim.
The mass registration exercise which lasted for about one week, as investigations and confessions by dependable sources have revealed, was carried out by INEC within the premises of Akpabio’s family compound.
According to one of our sources, the carefully selected INEC officials who must have been briefed of their insidious mission, were well taken care of with strong and irresistible monetary gratifications to carry out the illegal exercise. For order and precision, although the exercise took place at other designated wards in Essien Udim on the special arrangement, large percentage of the registration took place at Senator Akpabio’s residence, the source disclosed.
It was further gathered that, to facilitate the movement of borrowed and wooed voters, about 10 coaster buses were engaged for their conveyance to Ukana.
Revelations further indicate that agreement was struck to the effect that a day to election day, the imported voters will be camped somewhere in either Essien Udim or Ukana, the hometown of Akpabio from where they’ll move to various polling units to cast their votes.
Information available to us also has it that the cornered voters will be closely monitored and marshalled at the voting points to ensure they cast their votes for Nsima Ekere and other APC candidates. Each of them, we gathered, will be paid between the negotiated sums of 10,000 to 20,000 each, depending on their status on confirmation that they voted for candidates for which they were mobilised for.
It is no surprise therefore that it is APC media hirelings that first published the breakdown of voting population in each of the 31 LGAs in the state with a curious heading: BE GUIDED”.
With this revelation, questions have been raised and must be raised. Is it possible for a locality like Essien Udim to have more voting population than a cosmopolitan place like Ikot Ekpene? What is the demographic population of Essien Udim? How did Essien Udim voting population suddenly rise to 114, 867 only second to Uyo with 21, 2077?
As facts have shown, this has been achieved dubiously through the mass importation of people with a fee from other LGAs in the state and some communities in Abia State to register as voters in Essien Udim.
The situation also points to some memorable statements and innuendos attributed to Sen. Akpabio when he held the reins as governor of the state. On occasions, he was quoted to have said that by the time he shall have perfected his tribal mission, the issue of majority in Akwa Ibom State will have its place in the dustbin.
Reference has also been made to the manipulations responsible for the suspicious, trumped up figures and results for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in the 2015 general elections.
Could the recent 2019 voters’ figures from INEC be part of this programmed machinations by Akpabio, the uncommon phenomenon? Only time shall tell.
With these palpable and very detestable figures, the presidency should stop playing the Ostrich, while we call on relevant agencies to step in and investigate this wicked and evil plot that is clearly designed to serve as a parameter in subsequent issues beyond the general elections.