By George Onah
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Abia State, Mr. Austin Okojie, Thursday, rejected a gift of cow sent to him by a senator (names withheld) in the state, apparently to win the commissioner over the senator’s quest to contest the 2011 National Assembly elections.

Okojie, who spoke exclusively to Vanguard in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said accepting such gift was contrary to the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission, which forbade its officers from accepting gifts or hob-knobbing with politicians as it was capable of twisting their conscience.

“I was in my office in Umuahia, Abia State, at about 2 p.m. when my administrative officer came to inform me that a giant cow had been brought in a pick-up van by the secretary of a certain senator. He said the cow was for my Christmas celebration.

“I quickly told him to tell the man to take it back to the senator, that I was not interested. I was really surprised at the cow gift because here is a man I have never really exchanged pleasantries  or complimentary cards with.

“We have never met one-on-one and even if we have, I do not expect him to send me anything like material gift or money because we have been severely cautioned against accepting anything from politicians because we do not want to be enmeshed in controversy over gifts of any sort.”

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