The All Progressives Congress Aspirants Forum (APCAF) Akwa Ibom state chapter has insisted on the redeployment of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini and principal officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
The aspirants said without their redeployment the conduct of court-ordered re-run elections in Essien Udim local government would not be credible.
The Forum, which made in Uyo, alleged that the commission under the leadership of Dr Igini had shown preferential treatment for the PDP and its stakeholders during the pre-election meetings of the stakeholders.
The forum Coordinator in the state, who is an APC aspirant for the Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom federal constituency seat in the 2019 election, Dr Chris Enoch, expressed lack of trust and confidence in the electoral umpire under the watch of Igini to conduct the re-run elections without bias.
According to him, Igini’s post-election utterances demonstrated his inert hatred and disgust for the APC and its principal actors particularly Senator Godswill Akpabio.
“It is worthy of note that on the heels of the Appeal Court judgement on the case of Senator Godswill Akpabio, the candidate of APC in the 2019 election for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district in which Akpabio got a favourable ruling, the spokesperson of INEC Akwa Ibom state as directed by Igini, issued a press statement in which Akpabio was vilified and frontally accused of having sponsored thuggery during the election.
“Such a wild accusation smacks of a devilish agenda to poison the minds of the electorates against Akpabio in his local government, Essien Udim in which the rerun has been ordered by the appellate court and which is strategic to Akpabio’s victory and his final emergence as the Senator for the senatorial district.
“INEC’s strategy in that press release is simply pre-emptive and to spoil things for Akpabio. This further buttress the believe that INEC, Akwa Ibom state holds Senator Akpabio in utter disdain and opprobrium”
The Coordinator said further that the statement by INEC was also a glaring prelude for biased conduct of the rerun election in favour of Akpabio’s opponent.