By Harris Emanuel, Uyo
Independent National Electoral Commission Resident Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini has warned officials going against the core value of the Commission during Essien Udim local government re-run election on Saturday.
According to him, the core value of the Commission was ensuring integrity, transparency and fair play in the discharge of its functions as contained in the Electoral Act.
Igini stated this on Friday while addressing the officials deployed to Essien Udim for the rerun poll, warning that any official found wanting by way of assisting any politician to do anything to undermine the exercise would be facing the full wrath of the law.
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He added that the Commission is mindful of the role of law in ensuring a better society, therefore as a “Commission we are committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections whose outcome will be acceptable.”
The REC told the officials including Corps Members recruited for the exercise that the Commission has confidence and trust in them to do what is rightful and approved, therefore nothing less is expected from them as they set out for exercise.
He charged them to allow equal playing grounds for all candidates and parties participating in the election, adding that what the commission in the state was doing was carrying out the order of Appeal Court in Calabar which earlier given judgement over petitions arising from last year general elections conducted in the state.
He announced that a total of 1005 personnel have been deployed to conduct the rerun election in the 159 polling units and 219 voting points in Essien Udim local government area of the state.
Mr Igini also said that adequate logistics, including security have been provided for successful conduct of the exercise, and urged them to do their job without fear or favour.
Meanwhile, the state police command in a release stated that massive deployment of human and material resources have been deployed to Essien Udim, adding that security would be provided during and after the poll to ensure a hitch-free process.
The release signed by the Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, CSP N-Nudam Fredrick also contained that there would be restriction of movement of persons and vehicles throughout the period of the exercise.
The release read, “The Akwa Ibom State Police Command is poised to provide adequate security for the rerun election that will hold in Essien Udim Local Government Area, on Saturday, 25th January, 2020. Consequently, there will be massive deployment of human and material resources to the affected area. To this end, security will be provided before, during and after the exercise to ensure a hitch-free process.
“Besides, the Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, CP Imohimi Edgal has collaborated with sister security agencies to complement the available security personnel. The Police is on top of the situation. Similarly, there will be a restriction of movement of persons and vehicles between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm on Saturday, 25th January 2020. However, those on essential duties on the said date must bear valid means of identification.”
The release urged the electorate to go out en masse on the Election Day and exercise their franchise cautioning that any attempt by any person or group of persons to cause trouble shall be dealt with in line with extant laws of the land.