Bassey Anthony, Uyo
Members of the All Progressives Congress(APC) who contested for various elective offices in Akwa Ibom in the last elections are seeking the removal of the state resident electoral commissioner, Mike Igini.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo at the weekend under the aegis of the All Progressive Congress Aspirants Forum (APCAF), they insisted that Igini should not be allowed to conduct the rerun elections in the state.
State Coordinator of APCAF, Dr. Chris Enoch said the call for Igini’s redeployment from Akwa Ibom became necessary as the party had lost confidence in his integrity, adding that Igini is biased against the APC.
Enoch said it is the firm position of the forum that Igini should not be allowed to conduct any rerun election in the state as he would still vent his anger against APC while colluding with PDP.
The statement reads in parts ” It become particularly worrisome and nostalgic that an umpire would veer from these rules and against the run of play to act in such a manner that would cause the electorates to impute shear compromise and corruption on an umpire as would give credence to his utter disdain for a particular party or her candidates to such an extent that it would smack of a personal vendetta.
“It is even worse when the impression is created and it resonates across the land that this attitude is linked with his venomous disdain for the party which he links with a particular religion or ethnic bloc.
“This stigma on the umpire vitiate whatever iota of credibility which he so easily and voluptuously mouths with false pride. In the case of Igini, the initial confidence and trust in which the Akwa Ibom electorates held him has been completely eroded and was mere gratuitous given the acclaimed integrity of INEC at the national level.
“The preferential and VIP treatment of PDP was manifestly demonstrated during the pre 2019 General Elections Enlightenment/Interaction meetings VB of INEC with all the parties in the state and their stakeholders including their gubernatorial candidates.”
The Forum maintained that “due and commensurate action should be taken by INEC headquarters, Abuja to inculcate some noble sense of patriotism and transparency in Mr. Igini.”
“Igini’s post-election utterance clearly demonstrate the inert hatred and disgust he nursed for APC as a party and some of its principal actors. Igini sometime ago appears on screen to castigate APC candidates who complained of INEC’s underhand tactics that saw to their failure at the last election.
“On the basis of the foregoing incontrovertible facts and observations therefore, we members of APCAF Aspirants Forum, Akwa Ibom State Chapter call for the immediate redeployment or possible sack of Mr Igini and his irk in the Akwa Ibom State INEC and the posting of a new and impartial Resident Electoral Commissioner and principal staff to AKS, such as would inspire confidence in the AKS electorates preparatory to the conduct of a free, fair credible and acceptable rerun election,” the statement added.