The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Mike Igini, on Friday, bade farewell to the people and all electoral stakeholders of the state as he retires from active service.
He said despite his exit, electoral standards would continue to be maintained in the state, adding that INEC had built electoral fireworks in Akwa Ibom State so that the electoral template could be maintained.
Igini, who stated this while addressing newsmen at Conference Hall of the INEC Secretariat along Udo Udoma, Avenue, Uyo, said despite death threats from politicians who wanted him to bend the rules to win elections, he stood his ground to reform the electoral process, which he recalled was badly battered before the 2019 polls.
He said his refusal to succumb to the whims and caprices of some desperate politicians in the state had pitched him against some “Dinosaurs” who were not happy with him.
“My retirement from service is constitutional, and I will hand over to the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Akwa Ibom State as I leave the State. I thanked the media for giving meaning to the ballot through objective reportage.
“INEC in Akwa Ibom State under my watch is very clear on the conduct of the election as directed by INEC at the national, and we are poised to deal with historical challenges as it concerns electoral matters.
“Politicians in Akwa Ibom State are used to rigging, but I have said no. That is why the ‘Dinosaurs’ are angry. Some believe that they can buy all the people all the time because of permanent interest, but Mike Igini has vowed that I can’t be bought with money.
“INEC in the State will continue to serve the people even at the risk of their lives because they are doing the right thing. Democracy will have no meaning if the rule of law is not embraced.
“All elements who acted contrary to the rule of Electoral law in 2019 were duly punished, including INEC Staff. INEC has built electoral fireworks in Akwa Ibom State so that electoral template can be maintained.”
Igini recalled that in 2019, about 23 illegal polling units were discovered in the homes of some state politicians, adding that his quarrels started when he ordered that those polling units be relocated to open places.