Igini demands 'modest sum' of N1bn from Imuse over defamatory statement

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE management and staff of the Independent National Electoral Commissíon, INEC, yesterday eulogised the outgoing Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr Mike Igini for his integrity, credibility, transparency among others.

They spoke on Thursday during a formal farewell ceremony organised in honour of Barr Igini at the State INEC Office along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.

In his farewell remarks, the Administrative Secretary of the INEC, Mr Emmanuel Ogbudu described Igini as a quintessential leader given his ability to nurture others, his examplary conduct, good communication skills, emotional intelligence, a team player and a leader with ability to bring about positive changes.

Ogbudu stressed that Igini possess the right qualities required to give credibility that could move the Commissíon forward.

His words: “I resumed here, in Akwa Ibom State, on 14th June 2021, and I have come to see a man somehow misunderstood, and so misunderstood only by people whose aims , objectives and drive are rather beclouded by ulterior and not so not motives and intentions.

“I came to see a man, whose level of integrity runs way above the norms generally obtainable in the present day Nigeria. The name Mike Igini (Esq) has now acquired international status of repute.

“His approach to the commission’s job is unparalleled. And what I personally find very intriguing his zeal and passion to implement section 2(a) & (b) of the Electoral Act, 2022 to its letter”

Ogbudu added that Mike Igini created a very efficient management team due to the way he involved them in decision making, noting that no major decision was ever taken without deliberations.

He stressed such instilled confidence in management, enhanced productivity and created uniformity in the performance of their duties.

” Because of this high level impartation and confidence, physical absence was never a barrier to the smooth implementation of job schedule. That is another aspect of the quintessential leader I earlier spoke about.

“You devoted your time, energy and strategy towards achieving these objectives. Some cynics believed that your enthusiasm would soon fizzle out or that somebody will identify what price it would take to make you compromise.

“This never happened, rather the popular saying you now hear from people, is that, if only the Commissíon can get three or four more Mike Iginis, the Commissíon will achieve its mission and vision within a very short record. The democratic process in Nigeria would become the envy of countries around the globe.

“I must say that this occasion, as auspicious as it is, the time here is not enough to real out your numerous achievement and personal impact on staff here in Akwa Ibom, on the Commissíon as a whole and on Nigeria and its democratic experiences.

“We wish you the very best as you step forth to the greater Nigeria and world space spreading the ideals of a quintessential leader that you are.

“While we still hope and pray that “the son of man” shall return with more powers to complete the sanitization process that will ultimately stabilize the democratic and electoral experience of Nigeria, we say thank you for all the shared experiences and lessons”

Also speaking, the Chairman of the INEC Staff welfare scheme, Pastor Emmanuel Samuel pointed out that since 2017 Igini was posted to the State, the commission has leaped to a higher performance in discharging its functions creditably with a higher rate of integrity.

He described Igini’s dexterity in administration and management even on Welfare matters as second to none, adding that the promptness he attached to all matters concerning the commission was a great relief to the staff.

“During the 2019 General election, we went to the field confidently and delivered accurately because you were there by us as a rock who is ever ready to defend his staff against any foe.
Sir your encouragement and motivation towards us was fatherly. You are indeed a role model.

“In the forthcoming 2023 general election, the team spirit you inputted in us will be useful. We will never let you down, we will be more resilient than ever, continuing in the message of integrity you have preached

Responding, Barr Igini expressed gratitude to the INEC staff for honouring him in a very special way, stressing that words are not enough to express the depth of his gratitude for their support and team spirit throughout his 5years tenure in the state.

“Whatever I achieved would not have been possible without you people. I want to thank you all for the outpouring of your prayers and good wishes. I am grateful. I’m saying from the bottom of my heart thank you. I’ve ran my race, it is finished”, Barr Igini said.

The farewell ceremony featured presentation of Award of excellence on Igini, award of recognition on few other retired staff of the Commissíon, short drama by the Staff as well as entertainment from cultural dance groups from Akwa Ibom, Cross River states.

Barr Igini who was posted to Akwa Ibom State in 2017 as REC, would officially bow out from the Commission on Friday, August 12, 2022 following the expiration of his tenure and retirement.

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