By Sunday Ani
Former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, yesterday, received an award of excellence from the Alumni Association of the University of Benin, Edo State.
The event which took place at the Banquet Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, was in recognition of Igini’s contributions to the electoral process in Nigeria as well as his exploits in the legal profession.
According to the association’s chairman, Stephen Onojomete, the award was in recognition of Igini’s outstanding achievements in the legal profession, as well as his contributions to the improved electoral reforms in Nigeria. “And as an ambassador of the Uniben family,” he added.
In his acceptance speech, Igini noted that it has become a herculean task to do the right thing in contemporary times but attributed his achievements to the culture and norms imbued in him by the University of Benin.
He said: “In the changing times in which we now live, doing the right thing has become a challenge, but for those of us that were honed and groomed in the great Uniben tradition of excellence, it is the minimum expectation.
“I, therefore, see this recognition as the reinforcing values of Uniben that positive conduct and action in public service should be rewarded as exemplar. I, therefore, humbly and gratefully accept this recognition as an acknowledgment that one has made the right contributions and should stay on that path.
He called on Nigerians to participate actively in choosing the next set of political leaders in 2023, saying, “I call on everyone to remember that we all have a task to make the democracy we want to work better by our participation. I, therefore, urge you not to sit on the fence in the 2023 elections. The 2022 Electoral Act and the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) innovations and procedures have returned power through the ballot to the people at the polling units, where elections will now be won or lost, and not at wards and other stages of result collation. That is the good news. I thank you for this award.”