By Archibong Jeremiah/Christiana Ukung Alawa/Elijah Ugani/John Ushie
Late arrival of electoral materials across the state yesterday and pockets of violence marred the ward Congresses of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Cross River State.
The ad-hoc delegate congresses were to vote delegates that would elect candidates of the party for the 2015 elections.
Our reporters from across the state, report that from the central senatorial district down to the north, materials only managed to arrive late in the evening and in some places, as late as 10pm.
From Obanlikwu to Obudu and Bekwara, materials did not get there until about 10pm while Ogoja and Yala LGAs got their own materials at 8pm.
The congresses could not also hold in the central senatorial district due to late arrival of materials.
Our reporters in Bashua, Boki LGA and Ugep in Yakurr LGA say up till now, materials have not arrived.
In Obudu, the materials were kept at the Obudu Police Station and both factions of the party in the state agreed to meet at the station by 7am today to commence distribution.
Our reporter confirmed at the time of filing this report that members have started arriving the police station.
The situation is similar in other parts of the north and central districts.
Though materials still arrived late in most parts of the southern senatorial district, like in Akamkpa, materials arrived by 3pm but the elections still went on.
The election materials in Ojuk north and south, Akamkpa Local Government Area, were hijacked by some angry youths.
One of the youths who spoke to CrossRiverWatch said: “We hijacked the election materials for Ojuk north and south because we want to spoil some evil plan by some unscrupulous elements in the party”.
The youths who claimed to be PDP members accused the state party chairman of trying to override the people of the ward, “The state party chairman is from Ojuk south which is his ward and has himself, his wife and a loyal servant of his, Ngang a onetime councilor in the ward as delegates and want to transmit same in the north, since they don’t want election to hold freely for delegates, we are ready for war to course a change. As I speak to you now we are still monitoring them because we know even at night they can hold a kangaroo election”.
Likewise in Ward 6 Calabar South local government area of the state, the voting materials were snatched by some unidentified armed men at about 5pm, two hours after they arrived. The election however held peacefully in other five wards of the local government.
In Ward 5, Calabar South, materials arrived at 3pm and policemen were seen man handling a young man who wanted to take pictures of a chaotic scene at the polling station with his phone.
At Bashua community Boki local government area, the delegates election did not hold and youths of the community after waiting for long, staged a protest.
In Abi materials arrived at about 3:30pm and by 4pm the Ward officers had the materials at the venue, at about 8pm the first set of results were out and by midnight the entire 10 wards had voted peacefully.
State party officials all claimed to be busy with the congresses and were not in the mood to talk to the Press.
The congresses are expected to hold today and CrossRiverWatch is monitoring the situation.
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