The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akwa Ibom State chapter has called on international observers, especially the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States to send in their representatives to observe the rerun of National Assembly Elections in Essien Udim local government area of the state.
The call came at the wake of the ruling by the Appeal court in Calabar on Saturday, which had the elections of Essien Udim local government canceled due to irregularities and for rerun to be conducted within 90 days.
The State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ini Ememobong in a statement said the party would work tirelessly to ensure that ”the world’s attention is brought to Essien Udim LGA on that day to prevent the repeat of Warsaw or money play there on that day.”
According to him, “we will particularly urge international observers especially the US, EU, UK etc to send their representatives there in order to observe those who will participate in election malpractices and note them for punitive actions( Visa withdrawals, repatriation of their children studying abroad and confiscation of their property).
“Our party structures in Essien Udim have been energized and will soon move into every street and knock on all doors in preparation for the elections. We also put the police and other security agencies on notice to provide maximum security during campaigns as we are aware that the APC will try to use violence to prevent campaigns in Essien Udim.”
Ememobong also called on the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state to stop disparaging and blackmailing the electoral umpire and its officials in the state, noting that, blackmail had never being a guarantee to election victory.
His words, “It’s disappointing for APC and its chairman to continue in their sustained abuse of the umpire and its officials. They have long period before, now and after the election blamed INEC and Igini for their lost. Their Strategy has failed and will continue to fail.
“Akpabio has failed or neglected to see the inefficacy of his worn out antics.”
However, in a separate Statement signed by its Chairman Ini Okopido, the APC in Akwa Ibom state said it was ready for the re-run election but doubtful of its outcome with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, superintending over the the election.
It called for his immediate redeployment to pave the way for peace and Justice since Igini has demonstrated that he is an enemy of the APC.
The statement reads in part “As we prepare for the re-run elections in Essien Udim LGA, we are cautious and mindful of a re-run election superintended by Mike Igini.
“We have no faith in Igini’s impartiality as an unbiased and independent umpire. Igini is a compromised and avowed enemy of APC.
“We are distraught and doubtful of a change of posture by Igini and therefore cautious to go into a fresh election while Igini remains the State REC.
“He was on rampage before and after the election, ready to destroy any APC candidate who attempted to defeat PDP in Akwa Ibom state”. We demand the immediate re-deployment of Igini in the interest of peace and justice.”