Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Buhari, Tinubu move against Udom, PDP

* Want A’Ibom guber election cancelled
* PDP alleges Presidency’s influence on Judges


While Governor  Udom Emmanuel has visibly struck a good working relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, indications have emerged that the seeming flowery relationship with the number one citizen of the country is merely on the surface and nothing more. This more THE INK gathered over the weekend is due to clandestine and strategic moves by the President and other APC top shots in the country to influence the governorship election Tribunal sitting in Abuja between Obong Umana Okon Umana and Deacon Udom Emmanuel in favour of the APC candidate.

Our reporter who has being following proceedings at the Tribunal understands that the possibility of a rerun election in Akwa Ibom State is getting more likely each passing day contrary to the position of PDP loyalists in the state which suggest that there will be no rerun.  The confidence on the part of PDP in the state may be sky high owing to their body language in public glare but this Paper learnt from a reliable source that the grandstanding by the ruling party in the state is only meant to give faint hope to party followers, adding that the stark reality on ground points to the fact that a rerun poll is very much likely due to what he described as undue interference by the APC top brass.
Investigations by THE INK over the weekend reveal that President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and other egg heads in the APC are bent on having the Tribunal order for a rerun in Akwa Ibom State. It was learnt that the governing party intends to use the window of a rerun to take over the state which is considered to be the richest in the country in terms of oil reserves and other pecks that accrue to it each month from the federation account. Our reporter further gathered that the APC is ready for a rerun election and are seriously warming up to upstage Governor Udom Emmanuel and PDP’s stranglehold on power in the state.
But the PDP in Akwa Ibom State is not leaving anything to chance on the possibility of a rerun as the party have also revved up its machinery in preparation of whatever will become of their fate at the tribunal. While the party insist that even if election are to be conducted ten times, its candidate will still win, keen followers of the political weather in the state maintain that it is merely a wishful thinking for PDP to belief it will win a rerun poll landslide without working for it. A political analyst in Uyo who spoke to our reporter at the weekend argued that though Governor Udom Emmanuel has done well so far, the idea of a rerun is a threat to his administration and PDP. He added that no matter what the Awa Iman born financial expert has put on ground since he assumed the reins of power in May, there is still a wide section of the citizenry that will vote against PDP in the event of a rerun poll.
Meanwhile, as part of pre-emptive measures geared towards standing its party on a good stead against the daring moves of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state have expressed its readiness for whatever will be the outcome of the petition filed against Governor Udom Emmanuel and PDP at the tribunal. THE INK understands that the party have been holding stakeholders meetings across the state apparently to prepare the minds of its members for a rerun poll. The stakeholders meeting, we learnt, will crisscross the 31 local government areas in the state. So far, the meeting has held in some LGAs including Eket, Esit Eket and others.
A source who spoke in confidence with THE INK explained that the meeting is necessary in light of what may transpire at the tribunal. He stated that the PDP is readying itself for any eventuality hence the need for stakeholders to be on alert. The source who pleaded anonymity added that the sum of N1, 000, 000 (One Million Naira) has been earmarked for the exercise. The sum, he stressed is to be given to each of the 31 LGAs that will be visited. 
Even though the Peoples Democratic Party appears to have resigned to fate on the outcome of the tribunal ruling, the party have accused President Buhari and the APC of attempts to forcibly take over states won by the PDP. The party is not at ease with the seeming interference of APC on proceedings at the tribunal which it maintains is injurious to democracy and the unity of the country. Speaking recently on the issue, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh had accused the APC of deploying undemocratic strategies to win Akwa Ibom State. He pointedly made allusion to the invasion of the Hilltop Mansion as one of the evidence that APC is bent on forcefully taking over the state and using federal might and security institutions of the country against states controlled by the PDP.
While the APC had hit back by denying the allegations that it wants to take over Akwa Ibom State by hook or crook, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Obong Paul Ekpo also voiced out that the APC is all out to win the state using federal powers. The Etinan born politician maintained that PDP will do all within its capacity to resist any attempt by APC to take the leadership of the state for a ride. He particularly condemned in strong terms the invasion of the Akwa Ibom State Government House by men from the Directorate of State Service (DSS) challenging the security outfit to make public its findings.
But the APC in Akwa Ibom State have taken exception to the accusations from PDP, maintaining that reports that President Buhari is working to ensure Umana wins at the tribunal is false and baseless. The party argues that the case at the tribunal is not influenced by anybody from the APC adding that judgement will be delivered on merit. It urged the PDP to deist from making unfounded allegations and rather put it divided house in order ahead of the rerun polls. An APC leader in the state who spoke with our reporter on the raging issue observed that the PDP is panicky because it knows the people will overwhelmingly vote for the APC during the rerun. He asserted that Udom Emmanuel’s days as Governor of Akwa Ibom State are numbered.
“PDP is afraid because they know Akwa Ibom people will reject them in a free and fair election. That is why they are making unsubstantiated accusations against the APC. Even Godswill Akpabio knows that there will be a rerun election that is why he boasted during the state anniversary last Wednesday that even if election is held ten times, Udom will still win. We will disgrace them at the rerun. Every well meaning Akwa Ibom citizen knows that Umana Okon Umana is the legitimate Governor of the state, Udom is just holding brief for him.’’
Meanwhile, both parties are gearing up preparations to finalise its arguments and counter arguments when the tribunal resumes on October 8.

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