By Chioma Onuegbu
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Akwa Ibom State has chided the state chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, for employing media campaign against the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, in the ongoing election petitions tribunal in the state.
The commission in a statement by its Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Don Etukudo, wondered why the APC petitioners were busy playing the victims card in the media instead of concentrating their energies and resources in proving their cases at the tribunal.
It stated: “For some time now, INEC, Akwa Ibom State has refused to be drawn into making comments or reacting to unbalanced reportage of the proceedings of the election petition tribunal.
“Despite this resolve not to join issues with anyone, the commission wishes to note that the Akwa Ibom State chapter of APC and Senator Godswill Akpabio had since identified the REC, Mr. Igini, as the man they must demonise if they are to win their cases at the tribunal.
“First was that INEC was withholding election materials ordered to be released to them by the tribunal. Now, it is that Igini instructed the Collation Officer to cancel their votes in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state.
“If they were capable of reasoning, we would have advised that rather than dissipate their energies in whining and waging a futile media campaign against Igini, they should invest their exertions at the tribunal where they can reclaim their mandate.”
The commission, which noted that it was aware that commenting on matters that were currently being adjudicated upon was wrong, regretted that media spaces were bought, while spurious audio and video recordings were procured, doctored and splashed on social media to promote this falsehood.