The National Association of Cross River State Students World Wide, NACRISS WW over the weekend elected new officials to pilot the affairs of the union for the next academic session.
The election which was held at Eastern Commercial Secondary School, Marian Calabar, had delegates from various chapters of the Union in Cross River, including delegates from outside the state, in attendance.
Though scheduled to start at 10.00a.m., the election did not begin until midday. Before then, the electorate were seen milling around the venue of the election while preparations were been made by members of the electoral committee to conduct the long awaited election.
Speaking with our reporter, before the election, a past President of the Union, Comrade Emmanuel Ubi, stated that he was at the election venue, as a former NACRISS President, to ensure that a credible election was conducted.
In his words: “Cross River State is known to be one of the most peaceful states in the country, so I’m here to make sure that this election is free and fair, devoid of any manipulation”.
When asked about how he intended to ensure a credible election, he said, “Well, security personnel have been stationed at strategic points to forestall any irregularity by electoral thugs”.
Jolly Bana, the Union chapter President of University of Calabar, UNICAL, said that Nigerian students of Cross River extraction, including those in Diaspora, had gathered to vote for leaders who would sustain the continuity of governance in NACRISS.
The electoral process started with the calling in of delegates and candidates from various chapters of the association into the election venue, after which the election commenced properly at 3.00p.m. Policemen were seen barring unauthorized persons from gaining access into the election venue.
Despite the wrangling and sporadic fist-fights among the delegates in the early hours of the election, the electoral committee never relented in their effort to conduct the election amidst any challenge.
The election eventually came to a close at about 6.00p.m, with Ukele Marshal amassing 83 votes out of a total of 147votes to become the winner. He was followed in a distant second by Ndifon, who scored 37votes, while John Ekpeyong, Maurice, Ekpeme and Theophilus Valentine had 3, 13, 7 and 4 votes respectively.
Overjoyed by his victory, the Odukpani-born winner expressed his appreciation to God for emerging successful at the polls.
He said: “NACRITES are happy that a well-constituted government has come to stay. You see, NACRISS was established for two purposes. First is to protect members; second, to provide for their welfare. Unfortunately, these purposes have been shifted aside. I shall bring back these purposes to the forefront”.
However, as night was fast approaching, the electoral committee chairman said that the results of the other offices would be announced on CRBC the next morning.
Meanwhile, several of the delegates who spoke to CrossRiverWatch commended the electoral committee chairman for his effectiveness in conducting a credible election.
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