Igini: Enemies of Democracy wanted me to Travel Abroad for Bribery

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Mike Igini
Mike Igini

Kendi Jumbo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, has opened up on allegations against him in the conduct of the February 23 and March 9 elections.

Igini was accused by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of conniving with Governor Udom Emmanuel to rig the elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But Igini, in a telephone interview with the Nation in Uyo on Wednesday, March 13, said his accusers were the very people who tried unsuccessfully to buy him over.

He alleged they induced him to compromise his integrity and constitutional responsibility to superintend over a free and fair electoral process.

Though he did not mention the names of those who tried to lure him into shifting grounds on the elections, he revealed that he was invited by some politicians to a secret meeting abroad, which he declined.

”The very people who wanted me to compromise are those who are accusing me.

“Those who wanted me to travel abroad to hold a secret meeting with and them and I said no.

”I said why do you want to go abroad and discuss the affairs of an electoral process outside Nigeria?

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“Why do you want me to enter aero plane 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(sachet 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 said.

The Akwa Ibom REC said some politicians in the state have refused to come to terms with the fact that the old tradition of writing fictitious results was over.

He added that since 1999 no genuine elections have been conducted in the state until the 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,” he said.

Spokesperson APC campaigns in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh who reacted to the allegations, challenged Igini to mention names of his accusers who tried to compromise him as well as the country he was invited to for a secret meeting.

”The principle of law is very clear that whoever alleges should prove. If he has made such an allegation, then he has to prove just like the APC has made allegations against him.

”APC has substantially proven that how can a political party become your image manager.

“Look at the Vanguard newspaper of 28 January, page 39. Chieftains of the PDP paid for an advertorial threatening the INEC chairman not to redeploy Igini. Are they his employers?

”We have also told you that he(Igini) had a meeting with civil society forum, which he told them clearly and it is on record that under his watch APC can’t go anywhere in Akwa Ibom,” he said.

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