By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
Akwa Ibom state chapter of the People’s Democratic PDP has decried the sustained abuse of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini and the electoral umpire by the state leadership of the All Progressives Congress APC.
The party in a statement signed by its publicity Secretary, Mr Ini Ememobong and made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo described the statement by the APC that court of Appeal judgement actually indicted INEC under Igini as disappointing, noting that judgement actually meant that INEC was even magnanimous to have accepted a single vote from Essien Udim.
“It is therefore incredibly disappointing for the state chairman of the APC and the party to continue in their sustained abuse of the umpire and its officials.
“They had over a long period before, during and after the elections blamed INEC and Igini for their loss-this strategy had failed and has continued to fail.
“But the APC and their candidates especially Chief Godswill Akpabio have failed or neglected to see the inefficacy of their worn-out antics or change same. It is however noticeable that this has been their stock in trade, but as the previous attempts, this will fail woefully”.
The PDP said its argument was that the votes declared by INEC were the lawful votes as defined by law and therefore the court should uphold the cancellations and declaration by INEC and sustain the victory of Ekpenyong.
According to the statement, the party further said it would work tirelessly to ensure that the world’s attention was brought to Essien Udim LGA on that day of rerun to prevent the repeat of Warsaw or money play there.
“Our party structures in Essien Udim have been energized and will soon move into every street and knock on all doors in preparation for the elections.
“We will particularly urge international observers especially the US, EU, UK etc to send their representatives there in order to observe those who will participate in election malpractices and note them for punitive actions.
“We also put the police and other security agencies on notice to provide maximum security during campaigns as we are aware that the APC will try to use violence to prevent campaigns in Essien Udim”, the party stated.
Meanwhile the APC through its State Chairman Mr Ini Okopido also in a statement same yesterday entitled, “Re-Judgement of the Court of Appeal, Calabar: Reversal of Igini’s tyranny” demanded the immediate removal of Mike Igini before the rerun.
The statement reads, “As we prepare for the re-run elections in Essien Udim LGA, we are cautious and mindful of a re-run election superintended by Mike Igini. We have no faith in Igini’s impartiality as an unbiased and independent umpire.
“We are distraught and doubtful of a change of posture by Igini and therefore cautious to go into a fresh election while Igini remains the State REC. We demand the immediate re-deployment of Igini in the interest of peace and justice.
“What is instructive about this judgement is the acknowledgement and expressed declaration by a superior court that election in Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district was a sham; an indictment of INEC”