Akwa Ibom resident electoral commissioner reveals that politicians asked him to go abroad for a secret meeting

AKWA Ibom State's resident electoral commissioner Mike Igini has revealed that several leading politicians in the state had offered to fly him abroad for a secret meeting just before the elections in the hope of compromising his independence.


As the resident electoral commissioner, Mr Igini was charged with conducting and supervising the Akwa Ibom State governorship elections on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec). After the contest, Inec declared incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the elections with 520,163 votes, defeating  his nearest rival Nsima Ekere of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 172,244 votes.


However, the APC has rejected the results, accusing Inec of colluding with the PDP to rig the elections, which the party said did not reflect the way people voted. Ini Okopido, the chairman of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC, said his party won in 26 local government area but Inec staged an electoral coup, describing the results as a sham.


However, Mr Igini has revealed that the same people accusing Inec of rigging the elections wanted to lure him abroad and get him to falsify the polls in their favour. He said they invited him to attend a secret meeting outside Nigeria, where they wanted to get him to compromise the elections.


Mr Igini added: “The very people who wanted me to compromise are the ones who are accusing me. They are the ones who wanted me to travel abroad to hold a secret meeting with them and I said no.


“I said why do you want to go abroad and discuss the affairs of an electoral process outside Nigeria? Why do you want me to enter aeroplane and go to where? If you want to have a meeting with me, come to my office.


“Since I have been in this state, anybody who says he has given me pure water, let him or her come forward and say so. All those who contested the elections whether in PDP or APC or any party, I don’t know them other than their lists of the names."


According to Mr Igini, the era of writing fictitious results are over as the latest elections were free, fair and credible. He added that apart from the 1999 polls, no genuine elections had been conducted in the state until the last one under his watch.


“In Akwa Ibom, apart from 1999, they have not been delivering ballot papers results sheets to polling units but they have been writing results. There were no genuine elections in the state and I said there has to be a paradigm shift to the side of the will of the people," Mr Igini added.