Akwa Ibom APC Petitions REC, Alleges Unholy Alliance With PDP

7th February 2019

The Chairman

Independent Electoral Commission (INEC)

Maitama

Abuja

Dear Sir

PETITION AGAINST MR. MIKE IGINI, THE RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER IN AKWA IBOM STATE FOR HIS UNBRIDDLED PARTISANSHIP AND PARTILITY

A REQUEST FOR HIS REDEPLOYMENT TO AVERT ANARCHY

With a deep sense of responsibility, we write to apprise you of the unbridled and undisguised partisanship, bias and partiality of Mr. Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State. We have established that in total violation of his Oath of Office and Code of Conduct for senior electoral officials, Mr. Igini is working hand-in-glove with the State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to rig, manipulate and influence the forthcoming elections in favour of the governor and his Party, the PDP.

The PDP cannot even hide their peculiarly cosy but sinister affair with the REC. On Monday, 4th February, 2019, some leaders of the PDP took up a newspaper page to warn the INEC chairman against the redeployment of the REC. (Please see page 39 of Vanguard newspaper of Monday, 4th February 2019). It is so strange, curious and suspicious for a political party to make such a show of its preference for one particular electoral officer. The advertorial states that Igini ‘is widely acknowledged as a man of integrity, honesty and is dedicated to conducting a free, transparent and credible election in the state’. Is the PDP telling the whole country that Igini is the only REC out of 36 with these qualities and capabilities? So the elections in the other 35 states and the FCT will not be credible and transparent? What pact has the PDP entered into with Mr. Igini that could be so strong and binding that the party could throw caution aside and declare that only Igini should conduct the election in the state?

Does the PDP have the right to pick and choose a particular electoral officer for INEC?

We recall that the same PDP leaders have recently taken up a newspaper advertorial to chastise President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter of the suspended CJN.

On his part, Mr. Igini has been conducting himself in a very disgraceful manner that betrays his bias and preference for the PDP and Gov. Udom Emmanuel. Here are a few instances:

  1. In a recent telephone conversation with the undersigned, Ini Okopido, APC State Chairman, Mr. Igini threatened that the APC will never win the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, no matter how big and massive our total tally is. He told me that he would ensure that the PDP would be declared winner of the election, no matter what happens.

  • Just two weeks ago or so, Mr. Igini, in company of Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak (former REC in Rivers State, and now Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Election Board), Senator Helen Esuene (PDP chieftain) and Mr. David Lawrence (PDP member of the House of Assembly representing Eket State Constituency) met at the residence of Senator Esuene in Eket, and perfected plans for the rigging of the forthcoming elections in favour of the PDP and Gov. Udom Emmanuel. We should emphasize here that it is Mr. Ikoiwak, the former REC in Rivers State, who is the point man used by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and the PDP chieftains to reach Mr. Igini and other officials of INEC.

  • We have evidence to show that the REC, Mr Mike Igini, has handed over the uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to the officials of Akwa Ibom State Government House, Uyo. These uncollected PVCs are in thousands. We do know that it is not the role of the state government or its officials to keep custody of these uncollected PVCs.

  • Mr. Igini has been carrying out selective punitive measures against some electoral officers (EOs) whom he perceives to be resisting his partisanship and biased conducts. For instance, he recently removed the electoral officer (EO) of Ikot Abasi LGA from office while other EOs hasbeen thrown out of office for their uprightness, professionalism and decision to stand against Mr. Igini’s ulterior motives. Other EOs whom Mr. Igini has arbitrarily removed from office for resisting his bias, partisanship and favouritismto the PDP are: Mr. Anderson GogoWaribo; Mr. Ogwo-UdeHappiness and Mr. Kingsley Arukwe. In the last one week, he has removed six EOs from office for daring to resist his partisan conduct.

  • The REC, Mr. Mike Igini, is an ethnic bigot filled with hate against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Fulani ethnic group. On Saturday, 26th January, 2019, Mr. Igini made a phone call into the morning talk show programme on Channels TV. He introduced himself as ‘Mr. Igini, a public affairs commentator’, and, in his contributions to the discussion programme, asked President Buhari to follow due process in handling the matter of the suspended CJN, Mr. Walter Onnoghen. Mr. Igini will have to decide between his job at INEC and being a public affairs commentator.

  • In another display of extreme prejudice, the REC, Mr. Igini has repeatedly told his staff in the Computer & IT Department that ‘INEC does not have anything to do with the Islamist Party’, apparently referring to the APC. The reference to ‘Islamist Party’ here is not only offensive and derogatory but speaks to the extremism and tribal and religious bias of Mr. Igini. We know of some staff members who are willing to testify to this. The REC also told his staff recently that the APC stands no chance of a level-playing field in this election because Gov. Udom Emmanuel has been paying allowances to INEC staff in Uyo, especially the electoral officers (EOs), in addition to other largess they enjoy from the governor. In addition, Mr. Igini has colluded with the PDP in the state to ensure that all the ad hoc officials and staff so far recruited for the elections are PDP members or supporters.

  • For his favouritism towards Gov. Udom Emmanuel, Mr. Igini has been adequately rewarded by the governor. Mr. Igini has just bought a big mansion in the Lekki area of Lagos.

  • The REC was recently seen at the international airport, Lagos, alighting from the car of Dr. Akpabio, the Personal physician to the governor. The implication of this cannot be lost on any observer. Dr. Akpabio is also the governor’s go-between in his transactions with the REC together with Mr. AniediI koiwak, the former REC in Rivers State we mentioned earlier.

  • Mr. Igini’s arrogance and big ego are on display regularly as he boasts to his staff that he would not be redeployed from Akwa Ibom State because he is very close to Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who was the boss to the current INEC Chairman when Wike was the Minister of State for Education and the INEC boss was the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Education.

  • The REC has also written a petition to the police falsely accusing an APC member of assault and battery against one of his staff (please see the attached letter). This is a clear case of partisanship falsehood taken too far.

TOTAL LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN MR. MIKE IGINI

Sir, we wish to state categorically that the APC has no confidence in Mike Igini as the REC who will superintend over the conduct of these elections. He is biased, partial, bigoted, tribalistic and filled with extreme hate against our Party. He is not an impartial umpire. If he is allowed to conduct election in Akwa Ibom State, there will certainly be a breakdown of law and order over the flawed results he will announce. This will lead to avoidable anarchy.

Kindly redeploy Mr. Mike Igini from Akwa Ibom State, Sir. He is too deeply compromised to be an electoral umpire.

Please accept the assurances of our best regards.

Yours faithfully,

Augustine Ekanem,

Secretary

Ini Okopido,

State Party Chairman

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