The Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has adjudged the just concluded Governorship/State House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State as most peaceful and credible of all the polls conducted in the previous years in the State.
IPAC which comprises over fifty registered political parties in the state said they were in a good position to appraise how the election was conducted since they were not only monitoring and observing the proceedings but active participants in the process.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Wednesday, the IPAC chairman Pst Ekomobong Akpan commended Akwa Ibom people for coming out en masse to vote their preferred candidate even in the midst of alleged intimidations and monetary inducement by some political thugs and the security agencies.
According to him, “The Presidential, National Assembly as well as the just concluded Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were peaceful in Akwa Ibom State, even though there were outright intimidations and harassments in some parts of the State by those who claimed to be agents of the security agencies, the people refused to give in to the intimidations and went out peacefully to exercise their civic responsibility.
“We feel proud that in our lifetime, credible and people-centric elections could and were held and the voices of the people and their votes mattered.”
Akpan said with the expression of the people through the ballot, that PDP had come to stay in Akwa Ibom state and prayed that soon one of the political parties in IPAC would enjoy the followership that the PDP enjoys in the state.
“The election proved one fundamental point: that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had a commanding almost cult-like followership in Akwa Ibom State and the results announced are the true reflections of that deep sense of fidelity to the party by the people,” he said.
The Chairman wondered why the All Progressives Congress in the state would not accept defeat which according to him, the PDP in the state had glaringly given to all of them.
He also condemned the attacks on the person of the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the state, Mike Igini by the APC, saying that the REC deserved to be commended for conducting credible elections and not to be vilified.
His words, “That while one political party (APC) out of over sixty political parties operating in Akwa Ibom State relied more on the aid of security agencies which they had termed “Federal Might”, the PDP was entrenched within the grassroots and when the time came, they rose in unison and voted for the party, and went ahead to defend their mandate.
“We have read with dismay the concerted efforts by the opposition to attack and assail the integrity and character of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Mr. Mike Igini and wish to use this opportunity
to condemn in no uncertain terms the concerted and maliciously organised attacks on this noble and upstanding Nigerian patriot.
“Mike Igini deserves our praise and gratitude for standing up to what is right and ideal; he refused to be compromised and stood his grounds on doing only what was right and noble; he refused to kowtow to the fusillade of blackmail aimed at attacking his sterling character and integrity especially from the APC. Mike Igini deserves the praise and commendations of Nigerians. INEC should be proud of the likes of Mike Igini.”