2023 Guber: OBA, 35 Others Make INEC List, APC Missing In Akwa Ibom



The Young Progressives Party (YPP) governorship candidate, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan popularly known as OBA is among the 36 candidates who made the final list published by independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the 2023 governorship elections in Akwa Ibom State.

INEC’s list, signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran Anthony was posted on the Commission’s Notice Board at its office along Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Wednesday.

Akpan is currently the Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District at the National Assembly, and Chairman of Senate Committee On Petroleum Resources (Upstream).

According to the list, Senator Akpan was cleared for the governorship election and his name published alongside his running mate, AIG Asuqwo Amba (rtd.)

Not found on the list, is candidate for All Progressives Congress (APC) whose column was left blank, meaning that the party has no gubernatorial flag-bearer for 2023 general elections in the state.

Although the commission did not provide reasons why the party did not have a candidate for the governorship polls in Akwa Ibom State, but checks showed that APC has been embroiled in an intra party crisis which resulted in the governorship primaries held early this year to be conducted in two locations.

The main contenders, former Interim National Secretary of the APC, Senator John James Udoedehe in the aftermath of the crisis that greeted the party’s primaries moved to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as its governorship candidate and has  his name published by the commission as made available to the public.

The other contender, Senator Ita Solomon Enang, former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in court challenging the alleged nomination of Mr. Akan Udofia as the party’s governorship candidate and whose name was not published by the commission.

Senator Enang had claimed that Akan Udofia was a governorship aspirant on the ticket of the PDP two days to the APC governorship primaries adding that Udofia should not have been nominated to fly the party’s flag.

Udofia, a businessman, has already picked Mr. Victor Antai as his running mate and had been busy consulting stakeholders ahead of the electioneering campaign before his name was dropped by INEC in the recently released  list of governorship candidates.

With the absence of the APC in the governorship election, observers say it is likely to be a three-horse race between the candidate of the Young Progressiive Party (YPP), Senator Bassey Akpan, the candidate of the NNPP, James John Udoedehe and the PDP candidate, Pastor Umo whose names were also published alongside their running mates.

Observers also drew some reservations on the PDP governorship, Pastor Umo Eno whose fate is hanging on the balance because of the ongoing legal tussle at the Federal High Court, Uyo against his academic credentials instituted by Mr. Akan Okon.

In all, 36 governorship candidates drawn from 36 political parties are contesting the governorship election according to the list published by the commission.

Some of the governorship candidates cleared include Ekpo Ita Bassey of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Udo Anietie Augus as his deputy  who pleaded Senior Secondary School Examination while his principal is a lawyer.

Others include Ezekiel Nya Etok of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Iboro Otu Robert of the AAC, who have all been cleared and their names published by INEC to contest the governorship elections.


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