A foremost socio-cultural group in Akwa Ibom State, Ibom Patriot, has lambasted the All Progressives Congress, APC over what it described as carefully doctored reports propagated by its media agents to misguide, misinform and possibly blur the public perception of the genuine outcome of the 2019 General Elections in Akwa Ibom State.
In a press brief held recently in Uyo, the Chancellor of Ibom Patriots, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen and Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio stated that “in its usual abrasive manner, the APC, through its social media jobbers, has released several articles, press statements and social media posts to further its campaign of calumny on the last general elections.
“Perhaps, its leadership hopes by copiously weaving these lies against the widely commended exercise it can, by any chance, influence the Governorship/National Assembly and State Assembly elections’ Petitions tribunal outside what is legally available to the jurists”.
Inaueyen noted that APC, fully aware that its petitions, which evidently crumbled like a pack of cards under judicial scrutiny, will suffer a similar fate as its unpopular candidates, now resorts to throwing wild and unsubstantiated accusations, falsely alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) colluded with the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the 2019 elections in favour of PDP. Words are cheap, as the broom party finds that it cannot substantiate an iota of all its bogus claims.
Parts of the statement read during the briefing is as follows:
“As the conscience of the state nay the nation, Ibom Patriots frowns at this tactless abuse of media platforms and puerile attempts to discredit our democratic institutions. Facts from submitted reports of independent election observers show that the 2019 general elections in Akwa Ibom State as conducted by INEC were the freest, fairest, transparent and widely celebrated. In addition to local and international observers, other renowned bodies including security agencies and the media that were involved in the entire electoral processes did not only affirm the results but equally praised INEC officials, particularly the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr. Mike Igini for driving the entire processes faithfully without yielding to pressure to circumvent or compromise the exercise or the expressed will of the people.
“It is well known that Barr. Mike Igini is an upright electoral umpire. The Commission readily testifies that Barr. Igini has always served diligently in all the States where he has been posted to, since his engagement with the body. At the INEC’s Stakeholders’ meeting in Akwa Ibom State on the 6th of August 2018, Obong Victor Attah, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and an elder statesman, had this to say: “Mike your integrity and commitment to the conduct of proper election are qualities that are well known and acknowledged in and out of this country, I urge you, for the survival of democracy to bring those qualities to bear on the conduct of the next set of elections in Akwa Ibom State.”
“Obviously, these expectations were met by INEC in the State. The commission ensured that the sanctity of the ballot box was maintained with the popular doctrine of one man one vote conscientiously applied. So why the fuss now? Why is APC out to destroy an electoral process that was nationally and internationally celebrated? Why can’t APC wait for the judicial process to be completed? Why sponsor this daily media attack on Mike Igini and the will of Akwa Ibom people?
“Having watched the build-up to the elections and the subsequent outcome, it was manifestly clear that APC, instead of campaigning for votes, had given itself the luxury of employing ‘federal might’ to win the polls, with attendant boast that the elections’ outcome would be concluded in mere three (3) hours! The Party, through one of its loquacious apostles, had even likened their planned electoral approach to the manner the German’s maximum ruler, Adolf Hitler invaded Poland with the infamous statement of “Warsaw saw war and war saw Warsaw.”
“Akwa Ibom people, as peace-loving, rose up from all strata and prayed to God to avert the threats, consequently the elections came and went without the ‘holocaust’ as was foretold. The elections were accordingly won and lost. APC was expected to exhibit the virtues of true democrats by accepting the outcome and to congratulate the winners, fully aware that the electoral outcome represented the supreme will of the people. Unfortunately, they failed this important patriotic test. However, we do understand that should there exist doubt amongst contenders in an election, parties are free to seek legal remedies. But, this must be done evidentially, and not through trial – by – media as done by the APC. This clueless propaganda to misinform the unsuspecting public must stop.
“We make bold to say that the media war to malign INEC and Barr. Mike Igini is completely on an obtuse course. As a pan -Akwa Ibom socio-cultural cum intelligentsia organization, Ibom Patriots condemns in totality this needless mudslinging against the resounding electoral victory of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and other elected representatives arising from the February 23rd and March 9th general elections respectively.
“Never in our political history did we experience such a consensus to vote a leader and representatives we want, as evident with the results Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and other elected legislators at the 2019 polls. As Nicola Sturgeon opined, “It’s not opinion polls that determine the outcome of elections, it is voted in ballot boxes.” Let APC present all its facts before the court rather than engaging in self-adulation to blackmail INEC, with the intent to circumventing the will of Akwa Ibom people.
“The broom party has the opportunity to apologize to Akwa Ibom people for the psychological trauma they caused Akwa Ibom citizens during the build-up to the elections, this what it should do rather than worsen its already battered image with its poor attempts to misinform the people. The APC should know that more elections will come and Akwa Ibom State cannot easily forget what happened during the 2019 electioneering. It also fails to realize that as a party, it was preposterous in a democratic era to call for, and campaign for a state of emergency, due to minor parliamentary nuances which occurred in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
“We cannot also forget that in a bid to control the security apparatus in the State, the party created horrendous precedence, where Akwa Ibom State Police Command had more than four (4) Commissioners of Police within two months, with some staying less than a week in office. APC also made spirited attempt to create chaos in the State by using thugs or party supporters to occupy the premises of the state headquarters of INEC with ill-fated demand for the removal of Barr. Igini instead of engaging in campaigns to win votes.
“After all its tactical blunders, which evidently resulted in a record-breaking failure at the polls, the APC should be totally sober to accept the reality of its loss and try to mend fence rather than engage in this fruitless media propaganda. Continuing to spew baseless reports on a matter that is clearly against it is akin to an ostrich’s idiocy of hiding its head when its body lays bare conspicuously!
“Let it also be known that it was not only the APC and PDP that contested the general elections in Akwa Ibom as there were over 70 political parties that participated. Then why is APC the only one crying foul? APC must allow the judicial process to determine the validity or otherwise of the wish of the people overwhelmingly made on February 23rd and March 9, 2019. The will of the people should always be respected if we must deepen our democratic process”.