Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, is in a mess.
Insiders told Global Excellence magazine that the REC was already under fire after he was presented with an ‘award of excellence’ by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, allegedly for ‘a job well done’.
Recall that Igini it was who observed the February 23, 2019 presidential and national assembly elections which gave victory to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and immediate predecessor of Udom Emmanuel, Godswill Akpabio, who represents Akwa Ibom North in the senate, had accused Igini of working for the PDP candidate, Chris Ekpeyong, during the last election which he (Akpabio) claimed he won and later got a court temporary order to stop INEC from issuing certificate to the declared winner.
Insiders alleged that Governor Emmanuel, a godson-turned-political rival of Akpabio, was actually ‘appreciating’ Igini for his party’s victory last Saturday when he organized an award for him.
Besides, they believe the award was also ‘a form of bribe’ for Igini not to ‘draw back’ as Saturday, March 9, 2019 governorship and house of assembly elections draw near.
However, a government source said the story was not true, adding that the pictures in circulation were taken when Igini resumed as REC in the state.
Governor Emmanuel is seeking a second term in the election against Akpabio’s favoured candidate, Nsima Ekere of APC who wishes to unseat him.
A text message sent to Igini’s known mobile MTN number for clarification was not replied before going to press.