The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), has declared support for Mike Igini, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commissioner (Akwa Ibom) to oversee the September 19 election in Edo.
The Chairman of the party, Dan Nwanyanwu, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that Mr Igini should be sent to Edo.
He made the call while reacting to allegations by some All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains claiming that Mr Igini had been compromised by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo.
Mr Nwanyanwu said that Mr Igini was reputable for conducting credible elections acceptable to winners and losers and should be sent to Edo for the September 19 elections.
“I will say INEC should send Igini to Edo; we are also contesting in that election; the election in Edo is not only APC and PDP; ZLP is the third option in the state and we are saying we need Igini there.
“There are plans to carry ballot boxes, hijack electoral materials with youth members; Igini will cancel the election, he will never allow bad behaviour to be rewarded, he has done that several times and that is their fear.
“Let us redo it as many times as possible until we get it right; we cannot continue to reward bad behaviour and that is why we are calling in INEC to make sure that appropriate directives are given to officials,” he said.
Mr Nwanyanwu recalled that in 2011, Mr Igini conducted elections in Cross River and insisted on credible elections and the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), won a ward each in the state for the first time.
The chairman recalled that Mr Igini was seconded to finish the second phase of the 2011 governorship election in Imo and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) won and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost.
Mr Nwanyanwu said that in the Anambra 2012 senatorial elections, Mr Igini was there and PDP won the election and APGA lost.
The ZLP chieftain said that the then governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, congratulated Mr Igini for the transparent manner he conducted the election notwithstanding that his party lost.
He recalled that in 2015, there was another inclusive election in Imo when Rochas Okorocha had moved from APGA to APC and APC won and PDP accused Mr Igini of manipulation.
“You can see that when Igini is involved, PDP won some, APGA won some, APC won some CPC won some and they all lost some.
“In Edo, when Oshiomole was governor, Igini insisted on the people’s might, PDP did everything to get majority in the State House of Assembly but APC got the Majority.
“Oshiomole congratulated Igini for his transparency; it is only in that election of the 11 states that make the South East and South South that Buhari won 46 per cent of the votes, this time APC.
“Now in 2020, it is the same APC that is accusing Igini,” he said.
Mr Nwanyanwu urged Edo electorate and residents not to allow themselves to be provoked by anybody.
He urged Edo people not to be violent, saying that they should go out, get accredited, vote, wait and defend their vote.
The chairman also raised alarm over intelligence reports claiming that thugs had been armed to disrupt the elections.
He called on the security agencies to be on red alert and challenged the Inspector General of Police to ensure there would not be fake policemen or military men on duty on the day of elections.
Mr Nwanyanwu charged President Muhammadu Buhari to send a clear signal to the security agencies to ensure that the election must be free, fair and credible.
The chieftain said that the September 19 Edo election was an opportunity for Mr Buhari to leave his legacy behind.
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