Fear Of REC Igini
OUTSIDE the Chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the person that symbolises the “independence” in the commission is Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mike Igini.
Besides doing or saying things the way they are, no matter how unpalatable, his uncompromising stand to follow the rules to the letter is unsettling. As such, he invokes fear in politicians of dubious electoral character.
Formerly the REC in Cross River State, Igini, a lawyer and human rights activist, was recently transferred to Edo State.
Tales have it that while he was in Cross River, the ruling PDP had to contend with his inflexible attitude to bend the rules or engage in underhand deals in cahoots with those that want to manipulate the electoral process to their advantage.
Which is why, according to a source, “you did not hear of ‘landslide’ or ‘moonslide’ victories in the elections conducted on his watch.
The source added: “Mind you, the REC did not say you shouldn’t have an electoral landslide but you have to earn it the proper way — through free, fair and credible means, which he stands for.
Although the opposition could not gather enough steam in previous elections in Cross River, they were hoping that this time around, with the crisis that trailed the PDP primaries, they could spring surprises, “as Igini’s eagle eye are trained on the elections against possible manipulation by the powers that be.”But his redeployment has dampened that enthusiasm in the opposition, while at the same time buoying the spirits in the PDP camp.
“It’s the reason some people were ‘jubilating’ when Igini was transferred the other day to Edo State,” the source said. The source identified “some people” to be the leadership of the PDP in Cross River, who were reportedly relieved that a “prying eye” had been removed from the state.
However, in his new abode in Edo State, the party in power, the APC, is celebrating Mr. Igini, while the party out of power, the PDP, “loathes” his coming. A resurgent PDP, with some heavyweight politicians from the APC swelling its fold of recent, was already boasting that it would “recapture” Edo State from alleged stranglehold of Comrade Adams ‘One man, one woman’