A group, the Concerned All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has canvassed for support for the embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mike Igini.
Members of the opposition in Akwa Ibom had been calling for the removal of Igini, saying he is biased in favour of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
A statement by the group’s chairman, Udeme John Akpan, expressed confidence in Igini’s conduct so far. Akpan urged the Federal Government to retain the Akwa Ibom REC, to continue his good work, particularly in next year’s general elections.
The statement said the chairman spoke at a solidarity march by members of the group. The group carried placards with inscriptions like ‘Mike Igini: A man with impeccable character is what Akwa Ibom State needs’, ‘Only hoodlums, imbeciles, forgery masters, criminals and irresponsible human beings are agitating for his dismissal’, ‘Barrister Mike Igini must stay for the rule of law’, and ‘One dubious man cannot decide for Akwa Ibom, God bless Barrister Mike Igini for respecting electoral act’.
He said: “We are here on a solidarity visit to ensure that truth prevails. Igini is a man of integrity that is against forgery. He does not support changing or manipulating election figures. Igini and his Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) team witnessed what the APC was doing and he insisted that election results must reflect the will of the people.
“That is why he recognised Austin Ekanem as the authentic state chairman. We overheard days ago that a group of people that are not real APC members demonstrated, calling for Igini’s removal. They were paid to do that; they are not authentic APC members.’’
Another member of the group, Ekebo Thomas, from Onna, said the state has never had a free and fair electoral officer such as Igini. He said: “Igini is upholding the tenet of democracy internally and externally. He is a man that cannot be bought with money.’’