By Ogar Monday
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River State, Prof. Gabriel Yomere has revealed that INEC in the state is ready for the 2023 general elections, as the State has started receiving non-sensitive materials for the elections.
Yomere, who insisted that the electoral umpire will continue to play its role as an independent arbiter, added that there is a need for political parties to handle the electioneering campaigns with mutual respect for both the law and each other.
Speaking at a political summit organized by the Cross River State chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Calabar, the State capital, encouraged people to go get their voter’s card.
The REC who was speaking on the topic “the role of political parties in the electoral process and the 2023 general election,” held that the role of political parties goes beyond just “fielding candidates for elections” but expands to mobilizing their members and sensitizing on how the election will be.
“I am glad to inform you that INEC has received materials for the 2023 elections and we are ready to conduct a free, fair, and credible election,” He said.
Earlier speaking, the Keynote Speaker Dr. John Edor held that “a united Nigeria, with one voice, has the potential of enthroning a kind of leadership that we want.”
Edor praised the passage of the 2022 Electoral Act, saying it is a game changer, especially with the introduction of “BVAS and the electronic transmission of results” but warned that “Nigerians should be ready to hold INEC to account on section 65” which gives the commission the powers to cancel a result already declared by a returning officer.
On his part, Anthony Bissong, the State IPAC Chairman said the summit was to bring together all political parties in the State, their stakeholders in the elections including security agents, to one table and chart a course for a rancor-free contest next year.
Bissiong added that the group will continue to engage with everyone to ensure that the election is seen as a contest of friends and not a battle of foes.
The State Team Lead of Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War Campaign Committee, Mr. Lawrence Peter urged participants to ensure the forthcoming election is peaceful.
As strategic partner of IPAC, Mr. Peter said such dialogue should be encouraged across board. He called on the youths to ensure they are not used to memorialize violence.
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