Joe Effiong, Effiong, Uyo,
The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen Godswill Akpabio, has joined his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to appeal to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to redeploy the resident electoral commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini.
Akpabio’s latest request is contained in his letter to the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomole, announcing his withdrawal of the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial re-run, ordered the Court of Appeal, Calabar.
Akpabio told Oshiomole; “ May I advise that the national working committee of our party should reiterate our earlier plea to the chairman of INEC to redeploy Mr Mike Igini, the resident electoral commissioner from Akwa Ibom State if a free and transparent re-run exercise is to be guaranteed.”
He however said he would 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 of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria to further discharge my contributions and service of our grate fatherland.”
While announcing his withdrawing for the expected re-run, Akpabio ask APC to forward the name of another candidate of the party to replace him at said the rerun election.
The APC in the state had last week also demanded the redeployment of Mr Igini, should be redeployed before the conduct of the state North West Senatorial seat rerun election “to pave way for a free and fair poll”.
The party through itf forum of aspirant coordinated by Dr Chris Enough and Dr Emaeyak Ukpong, gave Igini’s redeployment as a condition to participating in the rerun election.
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 elections was reason for the demand
“The outcome of the general elections 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 rerun under Mr. Igini as resident electoral commissioner”. The forum said.