The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Akwa-Ibom State, Hon. Mike Igini, has dismissed allegations and misrepresentation directed at him, saying they are untrue as he remains committed to free and fair election and to the good people of the state.
According to a statement issued to THISDAY, Igini noted that as a public servant he is mindful of his responsibilities as the Electoral Manager and his devotion to free and fair election has not waned or diminished hence, he would not deny the people of Akwa-Ibom the service faithfully rendered to Edo people.
He said in the past three weeks, several misrepresentations, lies and allegations have been directed at the INEC in Akwa-Ibom State and to him as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, by some groups who have descended to some unethical conducts.
Igini added that, INEC is not a contestant but an umpire in the election and will make every effort to ensure that it remains neutral irrespective of any provocation or misrepresentations
According to him: “To correct these misrepresentations for the benefit of the public, I therefore wish to state as follows: INEC is not a contestant but an umpire in this election and will make every effort to ensure that it remains neutral irrespective of any provocation or misrepresentations.
“It is the responsibility of INEC, not political groups to determine who are recruited as Ad Hoc staff. The process of recruiting, training and deploying Ad-Hoc staff was made transparently clear to all stakeholders; their sources are well known to all Nigerians from NYSC, federal MDAs and federal Universities.
“How they were selected and trained was shared with all parties where INEC invited all parties and gave them the list to examine and state any objections they have,” he explained.
While condemning the allegations that he held meeting with some people and the issue of PVC, Igini said all were false and groundless as he never visited anybody.
“I have made the deliberate social sacrifice of never stepping into the home of any resident of the state and when some PVCs were damaged, i ensured that the Commission reproduced them, so that the affected voters will not be disenfranchised and also received and delivered 33,077 PVCS for distribution.
“It is the job of INEC to ensure a symmetrical playing field for political competition”
Meanwhile, on the allegation from the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Osiomhole, Igini said: “Let me assure the Comrade Governor who made this claim that “am in Akwa-Ibom to provide the level playing field and comfort for everyone that he sought in Edo in 2015 when I conducted elections to the comfort of all groups there.
“My devotion to free and fair election has not waned or diminished hence, I cannot deny the people of Akwa-Ibom the service I have faithfully rendered to Edo people.
“Let me state strongly therefore to all political groups and particularly the people of Akwa-Ibom that there will be a level playing field for every political party.”