By Archibong Jeremiah – Managing Editor, Jonathan Ugbal – News Editor, Patrick Obia – Reporter, Kelvin Ololo – Reporter, Godwin Otang – Reporter and Marylyn Uyanah – Reporter
Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River is yet to vote in the ongoing Local Government elections in the State.
Mr. Ayade and his wife are registered in the Kakum town hall polling unit in Obudu Local Government of Northern Cross River.
And, as at press time, sources confirmed to CrossRiverWatch that he was still in Calabar and had not traveled to Obudu to exercise his franchise as he did during the 2015 and 2019 general elections as well as the 2018 Obudu State constituency Bye-election.
It is unclear what may have informed his decision not to travel on friday as the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commisson had issued a ‘no movement’ order for Saturday’s election.
Initial reports suggest a very low turnout of voters across the State. Markets and stalls had opened before 8:00AM and as at 11:00AM, had all dispersed.
Ayade’s People’s Democratic Party is expected to have a field day and win at least 95 percent of the positions contested across the 196 political wards and 18 Local Government Areas.
Mr. Richard Edoki, News Editor of Rythm Fm Lagos in a phone interview with our reporter from Igbo Ekureku in Abi Local Government Area says “quote me, no election held in Igbo Ekureku, we have two wards, let anyone challenge me even Ayade.”
Mr. Edoki who buried his mother yesterday was disappointed that materials were brought but result sheets were missing.
The ongoing LG election in Ikom is generally peaceful and calm but very scanty as many voters have refused to turn up to exercise their franchise claiming they were not aware of the rescheduled elections amidst the Covid-19 lockdown.
In an interview with CrossRiverWatch in Ikom, some electorates poured out their minds.
“I am Victor, I have voted but I’m not happy because only very few people have come out to vote.”
Another electorate, Sir Ndoma said, “I’m not comfortable at all.”
Miss Grace Osim said “let us just do our best, I pray the right candidates should win because we have stayed long without Councillors and Local Government Chairmen in this Ikom.”
At about 7:45am this morning, materials for the elections had already reached designated pulling zones, in Ikom urban, Ofutop 1, Ofutop 2, Akam and Olulumo respectively.
However, the Ikom environment did not in anyway, resemble the usual Ikom election ambience that is always characterized by calm streets, locked shops and business places, and gatherings at various pulling zones, instead, the reverse was the case today.
Visits to different pulling zones, at Ekpokpa, Okuni, Akam, Ikom, Okangha Mkpansi, and some pulling zones in Ikom Urban indicates that as at 1:05pm many pulling units had concluded voting and were counting results at pulling zones.
Apparently, the political parties participating in the elections are the PDP, Labour Party, APC and YPP.
Meanwhile, from obtainable results, at the pulling zones, it appears the ruling PDP is recording the highest number of votes, while the YPP takes the least.
The Covid-19 guidelines of social distancing, and the “no mask no movement” weren’t taken seriously but most of the election officials were seen wearing the facemasks.
In some pulling units in Ikom Urban, hand washing facilities were provided, but were not fully in use.
Some pictures from the field below.
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