Judex Okoro, Calabar
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State, Utum Eteng, has thrown his weight behind the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission over the just-concluded local government election in the state.
Eteng, who is also a public affairs analyst, said it was wrong for his party to boycott the election having successfully sued the state government over the absence of elected local government officials in the state.
According to Eteng, “election for which notice has been given cannot indiscriminately be stopped by the court in the same way the courts are reluctant to stop the celebration of a marriage for which notice, date and time have been fixed.
“Arguments about lack of sufficient time not given before 30/5/2020 is misconcieved, because CROSIEC gave notice before the intervention of the pandemic which moved it from 28/3/2020 to 30/5/2020.
“Notice of election can only be given once but circumstances like Act of God like the case of the pandemic can move it from 28/3/2020 to 30/5/2020.
“There was no need for another notice as that will mean the start of a fresh process against the spirit of Section 10 and 20 of CROSIEC law.
“Under no circumstances should my party refuse to take part in an election it forced both Governor Ayade and the electoral body CROSIEC vide two court orders to conduct.
“I felt scandalised for the same APC to approach the court to restrain the conduct of an election it moved the court to order”, he said.
He maintains that APC, through his efforts, obtained two judgments compelling the state government to conduct the election and the party had three years to prepare for the poll.
He advised the Cross River State chapter of the party to put its house in order to have one political family as “frequent litigations cannot solve the problem”.
Recall that the Sir John Ochala-led APC in the state had pulled out of the local government election, insisting that the processes were flawed.