I am responding to the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which sat in
Calabar, Cross River State, on the petition filed by the candidate of
the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 Akwa Ibom North West
Senatorial elections, from which a rerun has been ordered in 90 days.
That ruling was drawn from evidences of irregularities that bedevilled
the election. So I am calling for an investigation into the reason why
that election failed.
I also, in the article, allayed the fears of His Excellency, Godswill
Obot Akpabio, which instructed his seeking the help of the presidency to
remove Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the
State, and his counterpart heading the Department of States Services
(DSS), showing how unnecessary the call was.
Please be kind to publish it as an opinion article on your well-read
online news portal please.
Ini Akpan Morgan
EKPEYONG VS AKPABIO: INVESTIGATE THE FAILURE OF INEC IN ESSIEN UDIM
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE ON 23 FEBRUARY 2019
I am so angry with the deceptive political leadership we presently have
over our people. Partisan politics, and politics generally, has blinded
our sense of political appropriation and has prevented our advancing our
democracy to achieve optimum popular results. We cannot continue like
If we do continue like this, then, this is what will happen: one day,
law and order will break down, and Nigerians will turn one against
another, killing, maiming and taking prisoners for themselves, because
no one will, any longer, accept or tolerate the granduous level of
economic inequality in our nation and the political hypocrisy we find in
popular governance in our country.
To say the truth, as far as “justice” is concern in this country, we are
all liars, and in deep shit – justice is paid for, and it is expensive.
The very foundation of our existence as a country is based on lies – our
constitution is not a consistent document. Yes! Our very constitution is
a very big lie.
This is why I call on all governments and leaders that have operated the
1999 constitution as was, as amended, and as is, to explain how they
faithfully executed Section 16 Subsection 2 (c and d) of our laws – laws
that provided for the weak, the old, and the vulnerable: laws that
prohibits an economic system that allows the wealth of our country to be
concentrated in the hands of a privileged few – what do we see all
around us? Nigerians should understand how all our past and present
leaders swore to and acted on lies, deceiving us with their korofo
Today, I am speaking to you all as a prophet over this land:
For me, the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which sat in Calabar, Cross
River State, which ordered a rerun of the cancelled elections of the 23
February 2019 – in response to the petition filed by the Akwa Ibom North
West senatorial candidate of the APC, asking for the admittance of the
result that was in his possession – though commendable for me, but that
judgment was also a moral call for an investigation into the
circumstances that led to the electoral fraud that happened in Essien
Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, on that day.
As a citizen of this country, and a passionate lover of law and order,
having learnt directly from the Almighty God, how law and order helps a
people, I think it is the least I can ask from my leaders, that an
electoral fraud be investigated and offenders punished.
I, therefore, demand that the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) rises to the challenge of investigating, or to cause the Nigerian
Police to investigate the immediate and/or remote cause(s) of the
irregularities that the Court of Appeal judgment threw up as the reason
why tax payers’ money will again be deplored into an election that
should not be happening if some of our politicians and civil servants
had imbibed certain national ethics, morals and civility in their
understanding of the universally permitted standards for sociopolitical
The presidency must be wary of towing the same path of error Nigerians
endured for 16 years in the hands of the leadership of the PDP, during
which era we never had elections. Votes were counted upon the blood of
innocent Nigerians. At one point the mentality for our elections was to
make it a “do or die affair” on one hand, but it developed onto a
“Warsaw saw war” affair on the other hand.
We do not need our elections to be wars any more. This is why what
culminated to the irregularities during the elections in Essien Udim
must be investigated: those found guilty of obstructing the citizens’
exercise of their adult suffrage should be prosecuted, and if found
guilty, they must be punished appropriately.
I think it is time President Muhammadu Buhari moves us forward. As Akwa
Ibom people in particular, and Nigerians in general, await the outcome
of the ordered rerun elections in Essien Udim in less than 90 days, I
pray the presidency would discountenance the allege condition given by
our Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for him to accept to enter into the
What I am not conversant with is if the Honourable Minister has an
option to choose whether or or not to obey a court order – I agree that
he can legally “boycott” the elections, but that would make him look
like a political midget.
And in case it is true that the Honourble Minister has asked the
presidency to redeploy the Resident Electoral Commissioner, and the
Director of State Services in the State, the presidency must note that
INEC is guided by laws, and in the laws governing INEC, the commission
is empowered to be “independent”. The presidency must stay away from
INEC in Senator Akpabio’s matter.
By the time we begin to subjugate our institutions to the interest of
one man, then it is a sad betrayal of the trust Nigerians repose in the
Buhari presidency: such a disservice robs of leadership morality and
For God’s sake we are a country of more than 180 million people, why
would the leadership be so vulnerable to be considered to intervene and
allow appalling schemes geared to shortchange the citizens of their
human rights and deny them the rights to their civic
The rerun senatiorial/House of Representatives elections coming up in
Essien Udim LGA in less than 90 days can result to a free, fair,
credible, transparent and acceptable outcome, if certain steps are taken
to ensure openness by all parties involved.
The call for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in
Akwa Ibom State will be shown to be childish, immature, myopic and
depicts a lack in the knowledge of the dynamic nature of INEC leadership
positionings for assignment in order to have their outcomes attain
maximal acceptability by the people.
It is possible for Mike Igini to remain REC, Akwa Ibom State and be
retained as an official monitor of the elections – no harm done. INEC
will not need civil servants as Ad Hoc staff. INEC can deploy all
Electoral Officers (31 of them), all Assistant Electoral Officers (31 of
them), all senior and junior staff, call out staff from sisters States,
apart from those in their security department, to Essien Udim LGA to
handle the rerun.
The entire election should be handled by the staff of INEC – from the
Returning Officer for the elections to the Presiding Officers at each
polling unit – only deploying National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
members as Poll Clerks, having no hands in leading any polling unit.
This way INEC will own her elections, own her materials, own her staff
and own the results and the outcome, having no one to blame for another
sets of irregularities. The election is in just one LGA, and INEC staff
can handle that election “in situ”. No need for anyone to fear being
rugged out in the regional election – it’s a small fry for INEC and
Professor Mahmud Yakub.
The entire Akwa Ibom State will be in Essien Udim LGA in less than 90
days to embrace the outcome of the “uncommon rerun”.
If Godswill Obot Akpabio does not want Mike Igini in his election, INEC
can ensure that, but his election, a regional one for that matter, is
not enough to instruct him to call for the removal of Mike Igini from
Akwa Ibom State. Mike Igini has a national commissioner who he reports
to, whoever that is, can take over the duties of presiding over the
Again, for security reasons, the other call for the removal of the
Director of State Services should be investigated. Why should a
contestant in an election not conducted by the Directorate of State
Services be threatened by a staff of the department?
Godswill Akpabio’s apprehension should neither be swept away nor under –
it is a serious security indictment. I am recommending an investigation
into it, in case the poor director, being projected for removal, is
innocent of our Minister’s lack of confidence in him.
All I have been trying to say here is that we have to begin to get our
democratic acts right – God has been gracious to us as a people. We must
conductively learn from those who have embellished sound societies,
exerted enviable respect for their citizens and their human rights
generally. We must leave this level of mediocrity and rise to the faith
of excellence in our communal services and popular governance.
We must begin to investigate electoral crimes and punish perpetrators to
serve as deterent measures to indicate our attention to the details of
our laws and order. This is about democracy, this is about the Nigerian
God bless you all, Amen!
INI AKPAN MORGAN FEELS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE APC AND HER LEADERS, AND HE
WRITES IN FROM UYO, NIGERIA, VIA “TIME.SUBSIDARIES@GMAIL.COM“