By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—The Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, and the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, have kicked against calls for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mike Igini by the All Progressives Congress APC.
State Chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party ,PRP, and Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Mr. Aniebiet Emmanuel stated their unanimous position yesterday during a press conference in Uyo.
He said the disturbing attempts by the leadership of the opposition Party APC to impugn the integrity of Mike Igini, due to his non-conforming stance against electoral malpractices demanded the attention of the international community and well-meaning Nigerians.
He added 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 in the performance of his duty failed.
He said:”Unmistakable of the APC’s sour cry is the realisation that Mr. Igini’s impeccable reputation is already in the public domain, as evident in his record of engagement at previous postings, a virtue that passes him for the face of hope for future of the nation’s declining democratic values.
“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 work to have him conform especially in this era when Nigerians are at alert.”
Emmanuel further said that they were aware that the Monday protest by APC youths to the state headquarters of INEC demanding Iginla’s removal was an attempt to blackmail the REC for refusing their advances to rig the polls in their favour.