Joe Effiong, Uyo
The resident electoral commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike igini, has declared that with the successful conduct of the court-ordered rerun elections in Essien Udim local government area of the state, all issues concerning the 2019 election in the state had been laid to rest.
In press statement he personally signed and made available to Daily Sun, Igini, however, expressed his concern and disappointment at the various acts of violence and electoral banditry on full display in 2019 election which were again repeated by key actors in Essien Udim in the early hours of the rerun elections.
“This was clearly exemplified by the disruptions that took place in Ukana West (Ward 11), Units 5, 8, and 9 as well as Ikpe Annang (Ward 5), Unit 12 in Essien Udim Local Government Area as documented by the commission and the Nigeria Police.
“The security agencies, despite the initial challenges did a commendable job with satisfactory professionalism, particularly in the full implementation of the designed model for securing the collation processes and centres.
“This ensured that polling unit results were not compromised or swapped with pre-written results to supplant the will of the people. These commendable efforts were led by the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal with all members of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
“The successful conduct of these elections marks the conclusion of the 2019 elections in Akwa lbom State, following a hitch-free collation of results at all stages of the process and final returns declared by the Returning Officers for the three elections.
“This was accomplished despite the extremely difficult situation and untold harrasment, intimidation and abduction of poll officials by hired political thugs, many of whom were arrested and are in custody of the Nigeria Police in Uyo.”
Igini expressed gratitude to all stakeholders, particularly the people of Essien Udim, who were undeterred by the occasional disruptions and came out to vote in the rerun elections.
“The state (INEC) office commends all staff of the commission as well as youth corps members deployed for these elections for their exemplary conduct and integrity in adhering to and implementing fully, fairly and impartially, laid down rules and regulations for the conduct of elections,” he said.