Luke refuses to participate in Akwa Ibom PDP governorship primary


House of Representatives member Onofiok Luke said he would not take part in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in  Akwa Ibom State.

Mr Luke, who represents Etinan Federal Constituency, was one of the leading PDP governorship aspirants in Akwa Ibom.

The primary is taking place on Wednesday, May 25, in Uyo.

The federal lawmaker, in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook, said “we will not be going into this election with our largest support base which is the statutory delegates.

“We also do not have any of the ad hoc delegates as our supporters who bought forms to be Adhoc delegates were excluded from the process. This position they have stated in a formal protest to the national headquarters of our party and have also sought redress.”

Unlike another aspirant, Bassey Albert, who had also declared his intention not to take part in the primary, Mr Luke did not cite the court order in a case against the Akwa Ibom PDP at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court had ordered parties in the suit challenging the PDP ad-hoc delegates’ election held on April 30 to “maintain status quo antebellum” pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

But the PDP conducted its State and National Assembly primaries using the delegates whose validity hangs on the decision of the court.

Besides, Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act 2022 excludes other categories of party members from voting at the primaries.

Mr Luke said he and his campaign were waiting and hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari would assent to the amended electoral bill, which would have restored the right of the statutory delegates to vote in party primaries.

“As of this morning, Mr President is yet to assent to it,” Mr Luke said. Consequently, I will not be participating in today’s governorship primary election.”

“I make this statement after due consultation with the leadership of the Amazing Grace Campaign team and representatives of my support base.

“I am prayerfully and politically consulting on the way forward, and I will communicate (the) same in the coming weeks,” he added.

With this, it appears, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s preferred choice, Umo Eno, is going to be the sole aspirant in the primary.

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