The Coalition of Political Parties in Akwa Ibom has condemned calls by opposition parties for the redeployment of the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini.
The group under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties, the Inter Party Advisory Council and the conference of Nigerian Political Parties, said this while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Uyo.
The parties said that the opposition in the state never raised concerns about the REC’s integrity but only resorted to blackmail when attempts to make him compromise failed.
It said: “We are however, worried that the opposition just like other parties should be glad that there is an umpire in Igini’s mould who is committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections.
“By seeking ways of multiplying such reputation in the commission rather than working to have him conform especially in this era when Nigerians have grown an all-time-high electoral consciousness.
Aniebiet Emmanuel, State chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party, said that the protest staged by the opposition in the state was an attempt to blackmail the electoral umpire.
He said that the parties and their governorship candidates had resolved to defend the nation’s democracy and principles of free choice by ensuring that nothing untoward was imported into the conduct of the forthcoming elections in Akwa Ibom.
According to them, they have promised to abide by the rules of engagement and would oppose and frustrate every plot aimed at derailing the peaceful conduct of the 2019 polls in the state.