By Emmanuel Uffot
After the bubble generated by the March 9, 2019 Governorship election which saw Governor Udom Emmanuel emerging as governor elect with a convincing victory over his All Progressives Congress, APC candidate has subsided, the governor has begun his second term journey relatively as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has issued him with a Certificate of Return alongside his deputy Moses Ekpo.
An obviously elated Governor Emmanuel was full of commended for the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, INEC staff and ad hoc staff, and the security agencies for their effort to ensure credible and peaceful elections.
He also lauded the people of the state for their love and for re-electing him for another term, and pledged his loyalty and that of the elected officials to the people, adding that they would bring the dividends of democracy to the people.
“I know a lot of people were scared of the kind of election in Akwa Ibom state. The election has come and gone and we didn’t lose any INEC staff or corps member I think elections in Akwa Ibom State were one of the most peaceful though there were pockets of problems. If you allow me to score the credibility of the election, I will put it at 90 per cent”.
“The election under the INEC REC, Mike Igini was the best and one of the credible elections in Akwa Ibom state. The whole world knows who he is but the only regret is that most of those who know him have stood to demonize him. I think he is one of the best in the country.
“I want to pledge on behalf of all of us that this is a call to duty. This is not the time of self-aggrandizement or to go and sleep or rest but for God to be glorified,”.
He said he will vigorously pursue his industrialization and economic empowerment agenda in his second term to reciprocate the mandate given to him by the people of Akwa Ibom
As stipulated in the electoral Act, INEC also presented Certificate of Return to twenty-five state House of Assembly members-elect, out of 26 that sum the total number of legislators in the State House. The Value News gathered that Nse Ntuen the APC candidate who purportedly won in Essien Udim Local Government Area state constituency was not given his Certificate of Return.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mike Igini, gave reasons for the development, explaining that the election results of the Essien Udim Local Government were signed under duress, adding that INEC at the national level would handle the issue of the House member.
Igini said, “Reports from collation officers sent to the area stated that election results of Essien Udim Local Government were signed under duress. The commission at the national level would handle the issue of the council area. As an umpire, we have been given the opportunity to serve the people and our fatherland in the just concluded general election, and that we have done.”
The disputed State House constituency seat, Essien Udim, whose House Member Hon Ntuen was not given his Certificate of Return represents Senator Godswill Akpabio state constituency. We also gathered that it was one of the few areas in the state that there were pockets of violence both in the National Assembly election and that of the March 9, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections
It could be recalled that the Essien Udim Local Government Area House member Nse Ntuen was the arrow head of the crisis that rock the State House of Assembly last year when he and four members that defected from the PDP to APC attempted to impeach the speaker Onofiok Luke.
Like Governor Emmanuel, other governors that won their re-election and are also getting their Certificate of Return include Samuel Ortom of Benue, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Aminu Tambuwal-Sokoto, Okezie Ikpeazu-Abia, David Umuanyi-Enugu, Solomon Lalong-Plateau, Ben Ayade-Cross River and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
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