The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State has said that it cannot declare the results for the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District because of insecurity in the area.
Senator Godswill Akpabio, the senator representing the district, is a contestant n the election. He is seeking a second term. His main challenger is Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Results of the Akwa Ibom North-West is the only senatorial election in the state yet to be declared by INEC. The PDP has been declared winner in the other two senatorial districts in the state.
There has been suspense and tension over the election result, with both APC and the PDP accusing each other of rigging.
There are widespread reports that Akpabio had lost the election but was allegedly holding the result in his local government, Essien Udim LGA hostage. Akpabio on the other hand has also claimed victory.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, soeaking to journalists at the State Collation Centre, Uyo on Monday, said: “The results are ready, but INEC can’t declare it in Uyo. The law says the election results must be declared at the senatorial district. The report we are getting about the security situation in Ikot Ekpene is that it is not okay for INEC to go there and announce results.”
Mr Igini said the returning officer for Essien Udim, William Olusunde, a lecturer at the University of Uyo, had to run for his life during the elections.
“The electoral officer too (in Essien Udim) has been going through a lot, I can confirm to you. He has not slept for days. Even myself, I have not slept.
“I have records of presiding officers who were speaking to me in low tones because of where they were and what was going on. God gave the returning officer wisdom, and today he is alive,” Mr Igini said.