Elections: Cross River IPAC Demands To Inspect BVAS, Ask For Redeployment Of State Police Chief
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Elections: Cross River IPAC Demands To Inspect BVAS, Ask For Redeployment Of State Police Chief

By Ogar Monday

The Cross River Chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, have demanded a personal inspection of the Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System machines following claims that it might have been tampered with by agents of the state government, the group also asked the Inspector General of Police to redeploy CP Sule Balarabe out from Cross River over a “crisis of confidence.”

The demands were made a few hours after INEC in the state held a press conference denying claims that BVAS machines meant for the state were diverted to the Governor’s lodge.

IPAC insisted that the press conference washeld despite an understanding between the REC and the group that the inspection of the machines will be jointly done with IPAC, the Department of State Services, DSS, and the police present.

The statement reads in part, “In order to interrogate the process to enable us unravel the truth, the leadership of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC met with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Pastor Prof. Gabriel O. Yomere on Monday, 23rd January, 2023 in the company of some Heads of Department.

“After a detailed discussion, the REC assured us that he was going to lead political parties, Commissioner of Police and Director DSS to inspect the BVAS by 2pm the next day.

“Contrary to our agreement with the REC, political parties were not allowed to even sight let alone inspect the BVAS. We were only informed in a Press Conference organized by the REC that INEC and security agencies have inspected the BVAS and went ahead to claim that all the BVAS are intact.”

IPAC therefore called “for a more thorough investigation from INEC National Headquarters, Abuia, This is because the purported change in our agreement with the REC without prior information can be extrapolated.”

The group also “insist on inspecting the BVAS and in addition request to be allowed to take full record of the serial number or barcode of the 3,281 BVAS sent to the state for purposes of thorough scrutiny of the BVAS to forestall the importation of fake BVAS.”

IPAC also passed “a vote of no confidence and demands the immediate redeployment of Commissioner of Police, CP Sule Balarabe and DCP Operations, Frank Ibu with immediate effect. The recent crises of confidence with the leadership of the Cross River State Police Command started two weeks ago when the CP invited political parties to an interactive session in far away Ogoja only to postpone the meeting without any prior notice and explanation to political parties despite mobilizing our members for the meeting.”

The group asked Cross Riverians “wake up and be vigilant as it appears clearly that there’s a grand plan to compromise the 2023 general election in Cross River State.”

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