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Amina Zakari: We Don’t Have Confidence In INEC Conducting Credible Polls – Akwa Ibom elders

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The Leaders and elders in Akwa Ibom State, under the umbrella of Akwa Ibom Leaders Vanguard, have on Monday expressed worry that with the appointment of Hajia, Amina Zakari, as the National Collation Officer in the forthcoming elections, the chances of conducting credible polls in Nigeria were slim.

According to them, they and Nigerians at large have lost confidence in the capacity of the ‘electoral umpire to withstand pressures from vested interests.’

The spokesman of the group, Senator Anietie Okon, flanked by Senators Emmanuel Ibokessien, Effiong Bob, Prof. Emmanuel Onwioduokit and others at a press conference in Uyo, disclosed that Zakari, whose appointment and records had been shrouded with controversies, had made people lose confidence in the credibility of the elections.

According to Okon, “The recent appointment of Hajia Amina Zakari as the National Collation Officer has worsened our expectations of a credible poll in the country.

“INEC said that they want to conduct a free, fair and credible election. We have been waiting patiently to see the actions of the federal might as far as this election is concerned.

“We see that there is no way that INEC can conduct election to be free, fair and credible. We are anticipating that the election cannot be free, fair and credible.”

The elders also rose against the establishment of anti-terrorism unit by the police command in the state.

The spokesperson added that they have already petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, explaining why the anti-terrorism unit was not needed in Akwa Ibom, a state adjudged to be largely peaceful.

He maintained that terrorism in the country have been constrained to the North East and more recently to Katsina and Zamfara States and accused the police authorities of acting a script to assist the APC wield its much vaunted federal might on the state.

Okon described the call for an anti-terrorism unit in the state police command as an act of building a bridge in a desert and leaving a river where the bridge was needed unattended to.

He, however, urged the federal government to channel the tax payers’ money to areas where they would be useful.

He wondered why the Federal government developed deaf ears to the yearnings of the governors of Zamfara and Kastina states to declare state of emergency in those terrorism laden states but decided to waste its energy and resources in establishing an anti-terrorism unit in a state (Akwa Ibom) that did not need it.

Okon, who further wondered why such call should come forty days before the general elections alleged that the move was politically motivated.

His words, “Forty days from now, they are foreseeing security threat in Akwa Ibom, you don’t need anybody to tell you that it is political.

“Recent security challenges in Zamfara and Kaduna States had necessitated the call for help by the governors of those states to our security forces to help forestall and curb the wild fire of insurgency rapidly spreading across these states.

“The most embarrassing affront being the invasion of the President home state by these marauding terrorists.

“The above named states are the main theatres of war of insurgency. It is therefore shocking and most appalling that our security resources are being wrongly allocated through the ironic proposal to set up an anti-terrorism Unit in Akwa Ibom state, several thousand miles away from the insurgency and terrorism prone locations mentioned above.”

He also said that the elders would resist such move by the police the way they resisted oil onshore offshore dichotomy and the establishment of a Nuclear Power Plant unit in the state some years back.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we will resist these attempts to balkanize and destroy our state under the guise of fighting non-existent terrorism,” he said.

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