By Our Reporter
With less than 4 days to the commencement of the general elections, an election observer group in the Cross River State, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has said the desperation by politicians to win at all cost calls for concern.
This is just as the group expressed satisfaction with the preparation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) so far.
In a release signed by the Coordinator of the group in the State, Mr. Edem Darlington in Calabar, CTA urged politicians to reduce
acrimony and not act in any manner that will derail a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
He said the group has uncovered sinister plots by some ungodly politicians to perpetuate violence, engage vote in buying and other forms of electoral malpractices. He warned that such moves by desperate politicians will be exposed and those politicians made to face the law.
The text of the address reads in part:
“The 2019 General Elections will be the sixth election in the country under this new dispensation of democracy that started in 1999. The journey to an election is not an easy one so the mandate to guide the elections is usually done under the watchful eyes of an umpire, in this case the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC). In preparation for this election, INEC under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, have taken the steps to protect the mandate of Nigerians by following the laid down rules as enshrined in the constitution and the electoral act 2010 as amended.
“Following this, INEC released the time table for the 2019 general elections about a year ago to ease preparations and help political parties and all stakeholders to prepare for the elections. INEC conducted for the first time the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) as prescribed in the electoral Act, INEC has released the guidelines on the 2019 elections following extensive consultation with stakeholders and incorporating recommendations from them.” It ends.
According to CTA, to ensure credible, free and fair elections, there are concerns which must be discussed. They are: voter apathy and non-collection of PVCs by voters With 84,004,084 registered voters in Nigeria.
Mr. Edem Darlington said, “We have observed that despite announcements and efforts by INEC, many citizens are yet to collect their PVCs. Many PVCs are lying at the INEC office waiting and begging to be collected by citizens who would use it to exercise their franchise and rights to vote for their preferred candidates. We, however, appreciates efforts made by some citizens and residents in the state to collect their PVCs.
“It is important to note that in the 2015 election, out of about 1.4 million registered voters in Cross River State, only about 500, 000 people came out
to vote; translating to less than 60% of the registered voters. We urge everyone to take this constitutional responsibility as serious as they can by coming out to vote for the candidates of their choice.”
He maintained that in recent times, politicians have become desperate in the manner they go about their campaigns and quest to win at all cost. Campaigns have been centred more on the use of words aimed at causing unrest in the polity instead of focusing on issues. “For example in Etung LGA, such desperation by politicians led to a clash between two political parties leading to server injuries of some young men who are currently in the hospital. This level of desperation is not good for the polity and therefore, politicians are called upon to reduce acrimony and should not act in any manner that will not support a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.”
The group said already, LGA Coordinators of the group have been deployed to all the 18 LGAs in the State where they are expected send information on pre-election, election day and post election activities to the situation room.
The group commended INEC for their effort so far.
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