By Valiant Okongo, Uyo
As the 2019 general election approaches and political tempo assumes a crescendo pitch, it has come to the notice of Akwa Ibom Elders’ Vanguard, a socio-political group in Akwa Ibom state has accused All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of collaborating with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recruit faked corps members as ad-hoc staff for the forthcoming general election.
Spokesperson of the group, Senator Anietie Okon during a press conference today in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital told journalists that the faked corps members recruited are APC supporters in the state.
According to him, the faked corps members have given uniforms and Id. cards with the view of exchanging them as INEC adhoc staff to be used in rigging the elections in favour of the party.
“Recently, we have been told that the governorship candidate of APC for the state, Obong Nsima Ekere held a meeting with INEC electoral officers drawn from 31 local government areas of the state with sole agenda of actualizing the plan,” Senator Okon alleged.
He also expressed doubt that INEC would not conduct credible polls in the country, saying that the recent actions by the INEC including appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, a relative of President Muhammadu Buhari as National Collation Officer have shown that the electoral umpire lacked the capacity to withstand pressures from vested interests.
“INEC said that they want to conduct a free, fair and credible election. We are waiting patiently to see the actions of the federal might as far as this election is concerned. We have also seen that there is no way INEC can conduct a free, fair and credible.
On the plan by the police command to set up an Anti-terrorism Unit in Akwa Ibom, the group maintained that terrorism in the country has been constrained to the North East and more recently to Katsina state and accused the police authorities of acting a script to assist the APC wield their much vaunted Federal might on the state.
According to them, recent security challenges in Zamfara and Kaduna states have necessitated the call for help by the Governors of those states to our security forces to help forestall and curb the wild fire of insurgency rapidly spreading across theses states.
“The above named states are the main theatres of war of insurgency. It is therefore shocking and most appalling that our security resources are being wrongly allocated through the ironic proposal to set up an anti-terrorism Unit in Akwa Ibom state, several thousand miles away from the insurgency and terrorism prone locations mentioned above”.
They however warned of dire consequences if the Inspector General of Police would go ahead to establish an Anti-terrorism Unit of the police command in the state saying that there is no justification for such a unit in the state acclaimed by security agencies to be one of the most peaceful states in the country.
According to them as elders in the state, they will do everything possible to resist the setting up of the anti-terrorism unit in Akwa Ibom state.
Meanwhile, when called to confirm the alleged collaboration with APC to recruit faked corps members as adhoc staff to rig the forthcoming election, the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini denied the allegation describing it as false.
“There is absolutely nothing like that has happened. As I am talking to you now, we are at the verge of designing a framework for the recruitment of adhoc staff. By the time we complete the exercise, we will in our normal way inform the public of what we have done,” Mr, Igini said.