- Calls for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, Mike Igini, have been rejected by CUPP
- According to the coalition, the opposition in the state never raised concerns about the REC’s integrity but only resorted to blackmail him
- The coalition, however, said Igini is committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections
The Coalition of Political Parties in Akwa Ibom on Tuesday, February 19, condemned calls by opposition parties for the redeployment of the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini.
The group under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and the conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), said this while briefing newsmen on Uyo.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the parties said that the opposition in the state never raised concerns about the REC’s integrity but only resorted to blackmail when attempts to make him compromise failed.
The coalition said: "We are however, worried that the opposition just like other parties should be glad that there is an umpire in Igini’s mould who is committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections.
"By seeking ways of multiplying such reputation in the commission rather than working to have him conform especially in this era when Nigerians have grown an all-time-high electoral consciousness."
Aniebiet Emmanuel, state chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) said the protest staged by the opposition in the state was an attempt to blackmail the electoral umpire.
He said that the parties and their governorship candidates had resolved to defend the nation’s democracy and principles of free choice by ensuring that nothing untoward was imported into the conduct of the forthcoming elections in Akwa Ibom.
According to them, they have promised to abide by the rules of engagement and would oppose and frustrate every plot aimed at derailing the peaceful conduct of the 2019 polls in the state.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that a pressure group in Akwa Ibom, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, condemned the call by the APC demanding the redeployment of Michael Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the state.
The AILM said the call by the state chapter of the APC is a sign of lack of preparation for free and fair election by the party.
The movement in a press release sent to Legit.ng on Wednesday, February 7, signed by its leader, Prince Emmanuel Sam, said the call was a last minute protest by the opposition which has seen that it cannot win an election in a PDP dominated state.
The group also frowned at the deliberate dissemination of fake news on the internet by known agents of the APC claiming that Igini has been redeployed to another state; insisting that the call was a weak propaganda to whip public sentiment and sympathy after the party failed in its bid to buy over the REC.
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