The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission, Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Mike Igini, has recounted his experiences in the state as he retires from active service on Friday, August 12.
Addressing newsmen at Conference Hall of the INEC Secretariat along Udo Udoma, Avenue, Uyo, Igini said he received death threats from politicians who wanted him to bend the rules to win elections, adding that he stood his ground to reform the electoral process, which he recalled was badly battered before the 2019 polls.
He noted that his refusal to succumb to the whims and caprices of some desperate politicians in the state pitched him against some “Dinosaurs” who were not happy with him.
He said he has already set electoral standards in the state saying that his exit will not change the template.
He said, “INEC in Akwa Ibom State under my watch is very clear on the conduct of elections as directed by INEC at the national level 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 totally embrace.
“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 politicians in the state, adding his quarrels with politicians started when he ordered that those polling units be relocated to open places.
“In 2019, some illegal polling units were identified in the homes of politicians in the State and I directed that such polling units be relocated to open places where people can vote under a conducive atmosphere.”
2023: Don’t Vote For Killers, Jonathan Warns Nigerians
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned Nigerians not to vote for those he described as “killers” during the 2023 election.
Jonathan stated this on Sunday in Uyo during a special interdenominational service to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
READ ALSO: 2023: Jonathan Campaigns Against Violence
“In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers.
“Those who will carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society.
“If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader.
“The people will continue to suffer. Make sure that from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives to Senate to governor, you vote for the right people in Akwa Ibom State,” Jonathan said.
$23m Abacha Loot: Group Drags Buhari, Malami To Court Over Nigeria’s Agreement With US
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the agreement between Nigeria and the United States for the repatriated $23 million stolen by Sani Abacha.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is a respondent in the suit.
The agreement signed in August followed the $311 million Abacha loot returned by America in 2020.
In suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to direct the President and Malami to make the details public.
The body wants to know the mechanisms put in place to ensure that the repatriated funds are not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.
SERAP noted that the repatriated $23 million is vulnerable to mismanagement as a substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 remains unaccounted for.
The suit filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Atinuke Adejuyigbe relies on the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations.
The lawyers said Nigerians look forward to the court’s favourable judgement as they are entitled to information about the use of public funds.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was instituted on Friday.
Delta Community Presents Akanigboro III To Chief Priests Of Ijaw Kingdoms’ Gods
Heir to the traditional stool of Akanigboro, King John Falabu Court, Akanigboro III, a priestly stool of ancient Mein Dynasty, has presented himself to the chief priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms.
Akanigboro III, addressing the chief priests at Ezebiri in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, who came from the various Mein kingdoms, including from Mein ancestral home of Ogobiri in Bayelsa State and various Mein Kingdoms in Delta State, said he sought to present himself to them to inform them of his ascension to the ancient stool after much hesitations and refusal to the wish of his ancestors.
The meeting, which started with prayers to God in recognition of His supremacy over all creatures, featured questions, answers and advice.
Responding to questions of scrutiny from the chief priests, Akanigboro III, who went into historical lane, said: “The Akanigboro stool is a priestly stool and original kingship stool of Mein, progenitor of Mein clan, who was the first on the stool, being Akanigboro I.
“When Mein passed on, his son, Akan, ascended the stool and was Akanigboro II.
“When Akan passed on, there was a development that stalled the ascension process of a new ruler on the stool, which situation lingered for centuries with the kingdom in disarray without a ruler.
“It was this situation that led the children of Mein to leave our ancestral home, Ogobiri, in the present-day Bayelsa State, and migrated down to the present location called Western Ijaw, where they founded communities and kingdoms. More so, it was that same development that led the heir to the stool to migrate to the present location, Kpakiama and which history is known by all Mein descendants.
“Now, when I was growing up, I began to receive messages from the ancestors in my dreams that I’m the chosen one to ascend the Akanigboro stool, being a descendant of Ogubo, but I did not heed to the dreams.
“But, as time went on, seers from various places started telling me that I’m the chosen one to ascend the stool.
“With all these signs, I was hesitant until it got to a point I was disturbed by the ancestors which forced me to present issues, first to my family members, then to the people of Ogubo-ebede quarters who, in turn, presented me to Kpakiama urban community that I’m the chosen one and that I’m ready to ascend the stool of Akanigboro.
“However, the leadership and people of Kpakiama urban community received the news with joy and prayers to bring alive the ancient stool of their progenitor with the assurance that they’re ready to do the needful to ensure the Akanigboro stool takes its rightful place once again.
“The essence of calling you to converge here is to formally inform you that a chosen heir has ascended the ancient stool of Akanigboro. I was supposed to visit all communities in various Mein Kingdoms to inform you, but to make it easier, I opted to call all of you to Ezebiri. More so, I have earlier visited our ancestral home, Ogobiri, before this gathering here”.
In their response, the priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, speaking through the chief priest, Mirror of the gods, Ezebiri, Chief Godwin Oroupade, thanked him for informing them and said that the Akanigboro stool rules over only three communities in Mein Clan, stressing they had no roles to play in his priestly stool since he’s not ruling over Mein Kingdoms.
Oroupade, who is the Eseduo of Kerebiri-Mein kingdom and Chairman, Priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, said: “We have heard you. The Akanigboro stool is well-known but it’s not ruling over all Mein Kingdoms. “Therefore, we’ve no part to play in either confirming or accepting you.
“We, after our deliberations, have resolved to inform you that your stool is not ruling over Mein Kingdoms but it’s ruling over the children of Akan who found three communities, including Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri.
“So, we advise you to go and consult with your people, and if they accept you and your coronation is made ready, we, chief priests of the gods of Mein Kingdoms will come and celebrate with you.
“Again, I want to emphatically state here that no chief priest is having dominion or rulership over another in Mein Kingdoms.
“We’ve just formed an association where I’m the Chairman and I’m never a superior to any other chief priest, nobody is superior to anybody. We’re all chief priests in our various areas of abode and never a subject to anyone.
“We threw so many questions at you because of the misinformation about this gathering, as some people alleged that we’re preparing to install you in this gathering, which is unfounded because we’re no part of the Akanigboro stool, hence, we don’t have the powers to do so.
“So, go and consult with the people of Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri on the way forward for your stool”.
However, Akanigboro III thanked them for the warm reception and advice and promised to speak with his people for the successful resuscitation of the ancient stool.
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