Top promoters of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State are returning to the drawing board to unravel the mystery behind the overwhelming defeat by the Peoples Democratic Party during Saturday's local government elections. Interestingly, the APC is not considering any legal action.
The APC could not secure even a ward, out of the 329 wards in the state. The party's leaders, including the managing director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, a former petroleum minister, Obong Don Etiebet, a former governor, Obong Victor Attah, a presidential adviser, Senator Ita Enang returned home with nothing at the end of the day.
A lot of reasons have however been adduced for the APC's excellent failure, including superior use of thugs and money by the PDP. Others however believe that the APC was not prepared for the election as they never campaigned as much as the PDP.
Although the two parties employed heavy security men and political thugs during the election, it became clear that the government of the day in the state had better wining strategies and funds to teach the APC men some lessons in election mathematics.
Signals emerged early, that the APC was going to lose. In most of the polling units, there were complaints of non availability of election materials. While the election umpire, AKISIEC never sent materials to most of the polling units, thugs suspected to be loyal to the PDP hijacked the materials from some of the places where they were available.
In Ikot Abasi the local government area of origin of the NDDC MD, voters waited all day for election materials that never came. Ekere did not see the colour of any of the materials.
It was so frustrating for the APC that one of the candidates had to announce to his people, after they had waited all day without any material in sight, that they should go home as there was no sign that there would be elections.
Another area where APC raised the alarm was in Oron where Senator Nelson Effiong who defected to the APC on the floor of the National Assembly, had to jump out from AKISIEC office in Oron through the fence, for his safety.
An eye witness said Effiong had approached AKISIEC office in Oron demanding for election materials for his unit only to be surrounded by irate youths who were chanting war songs, calling the senator names and accusing him of betraying the area, as he defected to the APC after massive support from PDP.
Mr. Eteyen Owei who claimed that he had worked for Effiong confirmed that the senator escaped through the fence, giving way for PDP to hijack all election materials to different units.
In Esit Eket council areas, PDP chairmanship candidate, Iniobong Nnamso defeated APC candidates in all the wards. TNN gathered that the former member of House Representatives from the area, Bassey Dan Abia Jnr, who recently defected to the APC was molested by youths, accusing the lawmaker of running away only to resurface on Election Day.
In Essien Udim, home of the senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, PDP won all the words in what was described generally as a peaceful voting pattern. A former ward chairman in the area, Mr. UdoEkon told TNN that victory of PDP in the area was attributed to respect for Akpabio whom he said have touched lives of all.
Reacting to the result as announced by the AKISIEC, Etiebiet said the party was in a fix as to how to deal with the present circumstance. He said PDP had not repented from their evil ways and warned them to abide by the tenets of democracy.
The state chairman of PDP Obong Paul Ekpo appreciated Akwa Ibom people for their massive support in the local council poll and assured the people the same victory will repeat in 2019 as PDP win at all levels of government in Nigeria.
Mr Imo Ukwang who left his house very early to go and vote in the area told TNN that even though he was a PDP member, he never saw election materials in the area, neither did he see any official of the electoral commission.
In Oruk Anam Local Government, suspected thugs and APC supporters barricaded the AKISIEC office in Ikot Ibritam, the council headquarters, waiting to escort electoral materials to their various voting unit all in vain.
A voter who pleaded anonymity told TNN that a popular politician in the area stormed AKISIEC office with his thugs and carted away all the election materials meant for all wards and units in the area. He said the politician fired several shots into the air and escaped with his convoy of hoodlums while the policemen guiding the AKISIEC premises watched.
Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission chairman, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak who announced the results on Sunday also presented the certificates of return to the chairmen and councilors-elect on Monday.