Worried by increasing tension and particularly the empty seat of Essien Udim State constituency in the 7thAkwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to expedite action and conduct a rerun in the troubled area.
State Chairman of the council, Pastor Ekomobong Akpan, who made the call in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Uyo said that a rerun of the state house of assembly election in Essien Udim was necessary since nobody was announced winner in the March 9 election.
He recalled that the resident electoral commissioner, Mike Igini, had declared the election inconclusive, following alleged violence and irregularities in the area and noted that the development is not healthy for democracy. Citing the provision of the Electoral Act of 2010, as amended, he said the INEC had the power to declare any election null and void or inconclusive, when there is obvious violence, but appealed strongly to the electoral umpire to look inwards in the interest of political stability, peace and especially for the health of democracy.
The chairman also called on other political parties who took part in the same election, to remain calm and to maintain decorum as measures were being explored to bring a lasting solution to the problem.
Finally, he lambasted the INEC for failing to address other political parties, particularly the IPAC on the crisis in Essien Udim and for failing to attend to Akwa Ibom IPAC, even after repeated attempts to interface with the leadership of the commission.
“The INEC chairman should have summoned a meeting with other political parties and IPAC to address us and discuss the way forward, but he has not done that up till now. We have made several attempts to meet him, but all to no avail and he has not even acknowledged our calls”.