By Peter Uzoho
A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Victor Umeh, has defended the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, against the accusations levelled against him by the Chairman of All the Progress Congress (APC) in Edo State, Col. David Imuse (rtd).
Umeh in a statement issued yesterday, said Imuse should resign immediately from politics, for throwing cautions to the wind and making weighty allegations of a plot by Governor Godwin Obaseki to rig the September 19 governorship election, using officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that would be coordinated by Igini.
He said “ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered to join the fray, but I was constrained to do so after reading the direct allegations he made against Mr. Mike Igini who is unarguably one of Nigeria’s very principled and noble Public Officers.”
Puncturing Imuse’s allegations, Umeh said Igini became a spartan and lived up to expectation and also became a relentless officer in the fight for credible elections and against electoral vices when he joined INEC.
According to him, “he (Igini) was always deployed by the commission to all troubled election spots that required strength of character to deliver clean elections”.
Umeh, who cited the quality coordination displayed by Igini in the Imo State Supplementary Governorship Election in 2011, and the replication of such in other troubled places during elections, stated that the fear of Igini became the beginning of wisdom.
Umeh said: “Following his acknowledged good deeds and high integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Igini for a second term as Resident Electoral Commissioner
“It is with this backdrop that we should not fold our arms and allow David Imuse to disparage one of our best in INEC in the name of political grandstanding. It is our duty to protect good Nigerians who have been above board and historically excelled in the discharge of their duties.
“In the circumstance, I want to join many Nigerians who are angered by retired Col. David Imuse’s ranting against Mike Igini and hereby demand his immediate resignation from the polity.”
“He has done the Army irreparable damage and a huge disservice to the discipline, which officers of the Armed Forces are known for.
“He should quit politics and go for resettlement at the Nigerian Army Resettlement Center at Oshodi. People like David Imuse are very dangerous to our Democracy.”