- AYCF boss, Yerima Shettima, has warned political actors in Edo state to allow free, fair and credible poll
- INEC is conducting governorship election in the state on September 19
- Shettima, however, described the allegation against Igini over the election as baseless and ridiculous
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As the Edo governorship election draws nearer, the national president Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, has warned political actors in the state not to undermine the poll.
In a statement issued on Monday, August 31, and made available to Legit.ng, Shettima, who was reacting to the allegation levelled against the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Akwa-Ibom state, Mike Igini, over the election, said Nigeria's democracy should not be assaulted.
Igini was accused to have been working with some political actors in Edo state with the intention of manipulating the forthcoming election.
Shettima, however, described the allegation as baseless, ridiculous and mendacious, adding that the REC is an uncompromising activist and a public officer per excellent who has shown exceptional character and integrity as an electoral commissioner.
The statement read: "Many prominent political actors who currently hold significant positions in political parties and public offices in this country since 1999, were mostly bystanders in the struggle for the return of democracy in Nigeria.
"Many of these political actors who reap enormous rewards from the political arena in which they made no sacrifices to attain are often reckless in their actions because they never paid the heavy price that many who struggled to earn the democracy they enjoy had to bear.
"These actors are, therefore, quick to make unguarded statements and think very little about jeopardizing the democratic enterprise in Nigeria at the slightest threat to the huge rewards they collect from the Nigerian people.
"It is against the above background that my attention was drawn to some patently untrue and very laughable allegations against the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Akwa-Ibom state, Barrister Mike Igini, to the effect that he is complicit with some political actors in Edo state, with the intention of undermining the forthcoming Edo election.
"This is a very ridiculous and mendacious allegation given the attributes of Barrister Mike Igini that we all know as Nigerians. An uncompromising activist and a public officer per excellent who has shown exceptional character and integrity as an electoral commissioner."
Shettima also noted that Igini fought for and was at the frontline of the struggle for democracy, a battle fought together against anti-democratic forces in Nigeria.
He said: "It is a stupendous mystery that political actors can be so brazen as to attack someone like Mike Igini that Nigerians hold so highly and respected for his astounding records in all the states where he had conduct elections and exhibited the kind of conduct expected of an umpire.
"If these allegations are meant to act as a political strategy to stop Mike Igini from supervising a transparent and credible election that he is known for, it must be stopped forthwith as such recklessness is a danger to the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria.
"If they are intended to pull him down, a man who has served well to the admiration of Nigerians, they have failed because many people in the days ahead will continue to condemn this attempt to destroy one of the finest if not the best amongst us. There should be a threshold of good practices below which political actors should be sternly advised not to thread. A word is enough for the wise."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state told his supporters that President Muhammadu Buhari assured him of a free, credible and peaceful governorship election in the state.
It was reported that Obaseki made the disclosure when addressing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a campaign rally in Ovia southwest local government area (LGA) of the state, according to a statement by his party.
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