The 2019 general election is one that can never be forgotten in a hurry in Nigeria’s political history as it has been adjudged to supersede what happened during the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 election in the country.
Also, violence was the order of the day in many states in the country as lawmakers and ordinary citizens int he country lost their lives in the fracas that ensued before, during and after the election.
Meanwhile, the case of election irregularities, violence and fraud was more prominent in the southern part of the country.
In fact, politicians have pointed accusing fingers at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its officials for promoting most of the atrocities that occurred in the election, but, the the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for INEC of Akwa Ibom state, Mike Igini, has come out to set the record straight, as he alleged that that those accusing him of committing electoral fraud are people who tried to take him abroad for a secret meeting.
It would be recalled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, have accused Igini of colluding with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to rig the election, however, in an interview which Igini had with THE NATION, he revealed that his accusers wanted him to compromise the elections.
He was quoted saying: “The very people who wanted me to compromise are the ones who are accusing me. They are the ones who wanted me to travel abroad to hold a secret meeting with them and I said no. I said why do you want to go abroad and discuss the affairs of an electoral process outside Nigeria? Why do you want me to enter aeroplane and go to where? If you want to have a meeting with me, come to my office. Since I have been in this state, anybody who says he has given me pure water, let him or her come forward and say so. All those who contested the elections whether in PDP or APC or any party, I don’t know them other than their lists of the names. As I speak to you, I don’t have their contacts, even those who won. If I see them on the way, I won’t recognise them.”
Igini also reiterated that the era of writing fictitious results was over as he mentioned that apart from 1999, no genuine elections had been conducted in the state until the last one under his watch.
“In Akwa Ibom, apart from 1999, they have not been delivering ballot papers results sheets to polling units. They have been writing results in Akwa Ibom state. There were no genuine elections in the state and I said there has to be a paradigm shift to the side of the will of the people,” Igini added.
It would be recalled that a judicial move to compel INEC to redeploy Igini away from Akwa Ibom state was rejected by an Abuja High Court.
The ex parte injunction was sought by Mr. Stanley Okpara and had INEC and Igini as first and second respondents respectively.
The rejection of the move was upon recent vociferous calls by chieftains of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC for the redeployment of Mr. Igini who they accused of not being straight in his duties.
Justice O.A. Musa turned the request for an interim order for Igini to be removed and ordered that the status quo be maintained pending further hearing on March 21