Joe Effiong, Effiong, Uyo
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has appeal to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to redeploy the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini.
Akpabio’s request was contained in a letter to the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, announcing his withdrawal from the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial re-run, ordered by the Court of Appeal, Calabar.
Akpabio said: “May I advise that the national working committee of our party should reiterate our earlier plea to INEC chairman to redeploy Igini, the REC from Akwa Ibom State if a free and transparent re-run exercise is to be guaranteed.”
He, however, said he would not partake of the election because of the “critical national assignment bestowed on him by President Muhammadu Buhari, which will be of immense importance to Nigerians, and in particular, the indigenes of Niger Delta region and have resolved to remain in office as a minister to further discharge my contributions and service to our fatherland.”
While announcing his withdrawal for the re-run, Akpabio asked APC to forward the name of another candidate to replace him.
The APC had, last week, demanded the redeployment of Igini before the re-run to pave way for a free and fair poll.
The party, through its forum of aspirants coordinated by Chris Enough and Emaeyak Ukpong, gave Igini’s redeployment as a condition to participate in the re-run.
The forum claimed that undue romance by the REC with the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the state during the 2019 general election was reason for the demand
“The outcome of the general election in Akwa Ibom largely acclaimed as far below international standard has created deep suspicion and loss of faith in the electoral body to conduct the re-run under Igini as REC,” the forum said.