All Progressives Congress(APC) mobilized youths under the aegis of the Coalition of Political Parties to protest against the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of INEC in Akwa Ibom demanding his removal with immediate effect The Trumpet gathered.
The youth group, at about 7 am on Wednesday, barricaded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo, chanting war songs such as “Mike Igini Must go” and carrying placards with inscriptions like “Igini is biased”, “Democracy is not for sale”, “INEC must act now” and “Akwa Ibom REC is compromised” among others.
The protesters numbering over 1000 alleged that Akwa Ibom State Independent National Electoral Commission headed by its Resident Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, had deviated from an unbias umpire to partisan politics resulting in the controversy rocking APC in the state. Speaking with The Trumpet, the leader of the youth group, Mr Ubok-Obong Umoh, attributed the crisis rocking APC in the state to personal vendetta of Igini against the party and appealed to the authorities concerned to probe it.
“We are protesting clear partisanship demonstrated by a supposed umpire, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mike Igini.”
He said between 2019 and now, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner has demonstrated that he has no faith in Nigerian democracy and now plays the script of the Akwa Ibom State Government-led PDP. Umoh accused Igini of acting on the instructions of the state government as anything done by any other opposition party is acceptable to him.
He said the state Resident Electoral Commissioner should be probed over the comments he made recently during an interview on one of the national television stations that “APC in the state will not have any candidate for 2023 elections. His statement is unacceptable not just to members of APC but to the generality of the peace-loving people of Akwa Ibom State.”
He noted that opposition was meant for checks and balances in government and wondered why the Resident Electoral Commissioner hates them, “he should pack his belongings and leave the state for peace to reign.”
APC Youth leader in the state, Dr Awak Clement, said Igini is not the only REC that Nigeria has, but queried why he should single himself out to fight APC in the state. He alleged that Igini has openly declared war against APC even before the primaries, adding that for peace to reign in the state, the REC should either resign or be outrightly sacked.
He further queried why Igini should presume himself as the Supreme Court to reject the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court. Clement appealed to the INEC headquarters to take swift action on the matter so that the peaceful protest does not turn into a violent one.