Critical Times News : Pressure Mounts On A’Ibom REC To Declare Akpabio Winner

Published by / 24 Feb 2019 / No comments / ,

Pressure Mounts On A’Ibom REC To Declare Akpabio Winner


There is alleged pressure on Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, to manipulate the results of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial district in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Godswill Akpabio, candidate of the APC, is currently fighting a political battle with Chris Ekpenyong, a former Deputy Governor of the state, who is contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Sources told INDEPENDENT that Ekpenyong is leading Akpabio with over 50,000 votes.

Without giving any reason, military and police personnel on Sunday allegedly arrested INEC officials and ad hoc staff, denying Igini access to them.

“So far, Senator Godswill Akpabio has lost to the PDP candidate in Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Abak, Etim Ekpo, Obot Akara, Ika, Ini and Ikono. Results from Ikot Ekpene and Essien Udim were still being expected,” one of our sources said.

Speaking further, our source said, “The INEC REC in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, is under significant pressure to allow police and security agencies to help APC rig the senatorial election in the North West senatorial district where Senator Akpabio currently represents.

“Several INEC officials and members of the NYSC who served as ad hoc staff in the LGAs there have been arrested and the REC is unsure of who is protecting the ballots in multiple locations there.

“The REC has not been allowed to speak to his staff who have been arrested. At all 10 LGAs, there is major security presence, especially outside the local government secretariat and INEC offices where ballot materials are believed to be held at the moment.

“Those INEC presiding officers (POs), supervisory presiding officers (SPOs) and other officials including the ad hoc staff that are refusing to allow anyone to enter the premises where ballots are kept are fighting for their lives,” our source said.

Also speaking, another source, who is abreast of developments in the senatorial district, said there is no way Akpabio can win the election in a free and fair election.

“Based on polling unit and ward level data we have seen so far and reports from PDP party agents and officials on the LGA level vote count, Akpabio appeared to be down close to 50,000 votes across his senatorial district.

“It is suspected that the police and security agents are providing cover so that the ballots can be sufficiently manipulated to make up the difference by the time they make it to the Senate-level collation in Ikot Ekpene.

“As things stand, only 2 of the 10 LGAs that make up the senatorial district have submitted their ballot materials to the senatorial districts INEC collation centre.

The other eight are currently said to be surrounded by police and military”.

Several sources, PDP and other observers have said that APC is very likely to manipulate results with protection and cover from the police and military.

Efforts to reach Senator Akpabio on phone proved abortive as at the time of filing in this report.

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