The URHOBO Political Movement, UPM, has warned against what it described as moves to tarnish the image of Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini.
It also expressed confidence in the ability of Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a free and fair election in Edo State. The socio-cultural group spoke against the backdrop of an allegation that Igini allegedly met with some persons in Benin to rig the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
A statement by Obiuwevbi Ominimini and David Ekuetafia, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the group, called on those who made the allegation to retract their statement.
The statement reads: “Ordinarily, UPM would not have responded to these spurious allegations since the organisation is neither an agent of the Independent National Electoral Commission nor a body involved in the management of electoral matters.”
That notwithstanding, as a body devoted to the promotion of rule of law, transparency, good governance and anti-corruption, we are under obligation to fight for what is right and against oppression, particularly with racial or ethnic coloration.
“Today, under the Independent National Electoral Commission under the able and courageous leadership of Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Mike Igini is one of the leading credible voices. He currently serves as the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State. The UPM and the entire Urhobo race are proud of his impeccable antecedents and activities in the nation’s electoral body.
“Even though Mike Igini has already instructed his legal representatives to write those who made the allegation for a retraction of the defamatory publications and also to tender an unreserved apology or face legal actions, the Urhobo Political Movement, still, seriously frowns at the unprovoked invasion of the personal honour and integrity of a fine gentleman like Mike Igini.’’