BETWEEN MIKE IGINI AND AKPABIO: WHO IS ACTUALLY CORRUPT?

Whenever a pot calls a kettle black, one cannot stop to laugh. But when a pot calls a golden plate black, know that satan has a son inlaw, and it calls for concern.

The last is yet to be heard of the verbal battle against the person of Barr. Mike Igini, the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner.
The latest allegation on Igini’s acclaimed corruption is coming from the stables of Senator Godswill Akpabio, who himself cannot be said to have clean hands as far as the just concluded elections is concerned.

Just the other day, the defeated senator Godswill Akpabio cried again over his poor performance at the 2019 general election, and also lied against a man who stood for justice despite his well known serpentine and manipulative dispositions.

The Immediate past lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district on Saturday, June 8, had said while he rounded off his tenure, that God will soon expose those who fraudulently orchestrated his loss in the last National Assembly election.

Akpabio specifically said the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini manipulated the election to rob him of the votes his constituents gave him, adding that “Igini is the most compromised electoral officer in Nigeria and should not be allowed to hold public office”.
He insisted that he did not lose the election, and urged his people not to be dismayed by the temporary setback.

In the first instance, Akpabio was instrumental in the hijack of election officials in his Essien Udim Local Government Area from Ward to Ward, on the eve of the presidential/National Assembly election, between the hours of 12 midnight. He was however captured by an INEC surveillance camera, unknowing to him.

Akpabio had always been believing that what money cannot do, more money can do. But on that day, he must have changed his narrative. He knows, but would not say the truth. There are people that cannot be moved by money and other gratifications, no matter who is involved. One of such men is Mike Igini, Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner.

Akpabio has serially been accusing Igini of manipulating the 2019 election results to favour the PDP, he has continuously used the word ‘compromise’ I have asked him severally to tell Akwa Ibomites the nature of compromise he is talking and till date he has not been able to provide any details, does it mean that Akpabio doesn’t know the meaning of compromise?

Let he who wants to join the President in sanitizing the electoral process for the future, first tell us where he got the card readers, result sheets and ballot papers he begged Igini to allow him swap which was refused him, or was it Igini who sent thugs to burn the vehicles carrying materials to Obot Akara, Etim Ekpo, Ika etc?

Nigeria will be doomed if Senator Akpabio is talking about joining President Buhari to do electoral reform, where was Akpabio in 2018 when electoral amendment bill was passed by the National Assembly, how can such a man who doesn’t believe in vote counting be talking about electoral reform and despite the electoral havoc he committed years back before Igini came on board.

Does integrity mean anything to a man who believes that “what money cannot do, more money can do”?

Between Mike Igini and Akpabio, who is corrupt? Even babies in the womb know the answer. Akpabio and his style of politicking is known to us. He believes in manipulation, imposition, oppression and blackmail. He has never won election through the ballot box before, and so when Mike Igini insisted that he should test his popularity through the ballot box, relocated 22 polling units from private homes of Akpabio election riggers promises, he caught cold and has been sneezing even months after the election having promised delivery of the whole state in three hours but could not deliver himself in three whole days.Who then should be called corrupt?

Lest we forget, it was all over the state that Akpabio abducted and held hostage election officials in his Essien Udim LGA from Wards to Wards on the eve of the Presidential/NASS election around 12 midnight. He did not know that INEC had tracking systems . He was challenged via a phone call, and he couldn’t deny it and begged that he would ensure that the ad hoc staff would be released, which he did to avoid the threat that election would not hold in his domain. All these are documented.

Akpabio did not stop there. He went ahead to attempt to bribe electoral officials, even at gun point. Is this not corruption?

Akpabio also had fake result sheets in his custody. He begged Mike Igini to allow him swap the fake ones, but Igini refused. Who should be said to be corrupt?

What about manipulation of security chiefs? Akpabio ensured that Commissioners of Police were changed at will and a total of 7 removed to allow him rigg elections. He did everything he knew, but Only God stopped him.

Should I mention the issue of intimidation of electoral officials?
Is it Igini that sent thugs to burn down over 13 buses privately owned that were carrying materials to Obot Akara, Etim Ekpo, Ika and other Local Government Areas?

Akpabio should tell Akwa Ibomites where he got the card readers, result sheets and ballot papers he begged to be allowed to swap and Igini refused.

The level of electoral fraud that Akpabio committed using AIG Musa Kimo, his cousin Idorenyin Akpabio and other compromised security personnel is enough to send him to jail.

Is it Igini the one that molested the local and international observers and journalists at Essien Udim, preventing them not to carry out their lawful assignments?
These are still some of the questions begging for answers.

When we talk of integrity, can Akpabio even go near the altar of integrity without being burnt by the fire of justice?

If Igini had collected the billions of naira they offered him, a house in any country of his choice and other nice treatment, Igini would have been the best electoral official in the country. But since Igini stood his ground and allowed justice, fairness and equity to play out, he is now the most compromised official. This is indeed laughable.

That for the first time people even in the local communities had the privilege to vote in an election, Igini has become a compromised electoral officer.

I think Akpabio is still wallowing in the ocean of failure. He needs help. Psychiatrists should help our defeated senator before he contemplates suicide. We can’t afford to lose him. At least, for his comedy.

Perhaps, the sting of failure and the fear of remaining permanently irrelevant in the play of power locally and nationally have carved-in an indelible mark in Akpabio’s mind, such that he has soon forgotten how much of a honorable man he is and chosen to be desperate for national recognition from the same Buhari he once called a tyrant, an illiterate and one not fit for Democratic governance in 2015 election. Wonders they say shall not end.

Igini conducted the best election ever in Akwa Ibom State that even the International observers commended him. It is now that I understand the sayings of Igini that “I have not come here to count money. I only come here to count ballot papers. Those who want me to compromise the process are the ones shouting out there. Why would you remove a man who says he wants to give everybody equal chance and equal opportunity?”
“I will never bend for any reason. I rather leave this job with my integrity intact than betray the will of the people. The will of the people must speak in Akwa Ibom”.

Recently, the Guardians Newspaper, one of the most read newspapers in Nigeria conducted an independent research on Igini, published on 7th June. In the research titled: Igini the Guinea pig, they averred that “Wherever he went in the course of his duty, he flaunted his integrity and won the confidence of voters. The story of Mr. Michael Igini reads like a tale of courage, patriotism and determination.
In physical stature, Igini does not have an intimidating presence. He possesses neither potbelly nor puffed cheeks. Yet, with his athletic build and frank visage, it is easy to see a man on a vision to excel.
Whatever credentials that convinced his employers to recruit him, as a Resident Electoral Commissioner must have been impressive and a plus.

True to his words on Saturday, Akpabio has never in his life experienced a resident electoral commissioner like Mike Igini and will never, because the trick is long over.
Yes we know our “Senator cannot lose election” but you did sir, and the earlier it sinks-in, the better for you and everyone else.

This is a testimony of Mike lgini uncompromising stance. Akpabio has his testimony, which is that of high profile corruption and manipulation. That was why he ran to the APC for his corruption case to be buried under the carpet of the EFCC. This is his testimony. I still leave you with the question, between Igini and Akpabio, who is corrupt? Your guess is as good as mine.

Richard Peters is a good conscience writer from Uyo.
Akwa Ibom State