Judex Okoro, Calabar
The House of Representatives re-run election for Ekureku I and II in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River witnessed a large turnout of voters on Saturday.
Our correspondent who monitored the election across the wards observed that election materials arrived very early, with voters turning out as early as 6:30 am.
It was also observed that the INEC officials had initial difficulty in containing the mammoth crowd, especially at Gbagaro Agbara and Egbonyi polling units within Wkureku II ward.
Speaking on the conduct of the election, the Presiding Officer for Gbagaro Agbara polling unit, Mr Isaac Oke, said: “I can tell you the election materials arrives at 8:00 am and we commended accreditation immediately because the voters were already on ground.
“There is a large turn out of voters as you can see. The card reader is very slow, but we promise to ensure that everybody would vote at the end of the day.
Also speaking, INEC observer Mr Jubril Isa commended the voters for their peaceful and orderly conduct but observed that the processes are slow.
He enjoined INEC to try and improve upon it so that no voter is disenfranchised this exercise.
Reacting to the development, the Federal Commissioner, who came in to supervise the re-runs, Dr Mohammws Lecky, said reports from the field showed that the everything is moving on smoothly and we have not received any complaints of any irregularity with regard to the House of Representatives election. So we are very satisfied.
On the issue of card readers, he said: “Nobody would be allowed to vote outside the card reader. We have enough on ground. So if anyone develops a problem we would replace it immediately.
“And no matter the number of voters’ turnout we shall ensure that everybody votes because there is no provision again for incidence forms.”
Equally speaking shortly after casting his vote, the member representing Abi/Yakurr federal constituency, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the re-run, Dr Alex Egbona, said: “The turnout is encouraging and you know that the election is in my community. I am in touch with my community and that is why you see this unprecedented turnout.
“I encourage all voters to vote according to their conscience as nobody would molest them. This is democracy so vote according to your choice. But I can tell you with this development I would emerge victorious.”