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INEC says no substitution or withdrawal of candidates for Essien Udim rerun

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akwa Ibom State, has said the commission would not substitute any candidate in the forth-coming senatorial rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government Council of the state. This was contained in a statement signed, yesterday, by Mr. Odaro Aisien, HOD, Voter Education and Publicity for the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini in Uyo.

In the statement titled: “No Substitution/Withdrawal of Candidates for Essien Udim LGA Rerun Elections,” Igini said the information became necessary, due to requests from the public regarding rumour making the rounds that the commission had substituted Obong Ekprikpe Ekpo for Senator Godswill Akpabio.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akwa Ibom State, of late, has been inundated with enquiries as to whether political parties can substitute candidates in the upcoming rerun elections in Essien Udim LGA, scheduled for January 25, 2020.

“The Commission wishes to restate that there will be no substitution or withdrawal of candidates, who contested the 2019 general elections in this court-ordered rerun election in Essien Udim LGA,” the statement said.

It would be recalled that after Akpabio, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, wrote to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC that he would not partake in the senatorial rerun in his local government and that somebody be substituted for his position, it was rumoured that Ekprikpe Ekpo, a one-time member of House of Representatives from Ika local government, would be substituted.

Meanwhile, Igini has urged officials partaking in the conduct of the rerun elections to remain faithful to the ethos of free, fair and credible elections, by ensuring that the process was not compromised.

He made this call while declaring open a two-day pre-election training exercise in the Commission’s state office, stressing that the people’s will, expressed at polling units, must always determine election outcomes.

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