From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade, and Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner Information and Voter Education of INEC, have expressed satisfaction at the voters’ turnout and
peaceful process of the northern senatorial and Obudu State Assembly by-election.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote at at kakum town hall, Ikpong, Obudu local government area, described the turnout as impressive.
He expressed belief that his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), will win the election as political structure guarantees success for the party.
He said: “I am very impressed and you can see that even though it is still early in the day the crowd is huge. This is a very massive polling unit. It is at the epicenter of our ward and it is very huge.
“Judging from what I have seen at my polling unit, until is free and fair. If this is the situation across the entire senatorial district, then we will have a very free and fair election.”
He said for every election there must be a winner and a loser, advising that whoever wins the election must be magnanimous in victory.
“I enjoin whoever will win to show the spirit of sportsmanship. Anybody who ends up as the looser should not see the defeat as the end of the world.
“We should put our differences aside and move on. We are all from the larger Ogoja senatorial district. Whoever wins is from Ogoja and we will all stand by the person.
” Both the winner and looser must have an open mind and find a way to collaborate and work together. The world is a dynamic place. If you win today, tomorrow you may loose.”
Speaking to journalists after observing the process in some polling units in Ogoja and Bekwarra, the National Commissioner Information and Voter Education of INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, said the process was going as planned.
“I am satisfied with the way the process is going in all the areas visited and from reports received from other centers, the election is going on well.
“The voters observeed COVOD-19 protocols by ensuring social distancing as well as wearing face masks. The voter apathy noticed in some places is a s a result of failure of political parties to mobilise their supporters for the election.
“Voter apathy is a global issue not peculiar to Nigeria, however, we hope that before the end of voting, they will come out, ” he said.
Our correspondent, who went round some of polling units, observed that the election started as early as 8:00am as materials arrived early.
It was also observed that that no incident of violence or hijacking of election materials were noticed within the senatorial district contrary to what obtained during the last general election.
The agents of different political parties were also on ground to observe the voting process.
In one of the polling units visited by the Commissioner, in Ogoja, St Theresa Primary School, Urban ward 2, unit 5, the Supervisory Supervising Officer, Miss Sarah Esu, said there was no challenges.
Also in Bekwarra Customary Court ward 1, polling unit, Abuocheche, voters both old and young were made to observe Covid-19 protocols.
A voter, Mrs Angelina Agbo, 70, commemdmed electoral officials for for commencing voting on time.
She said: I have just finished voting and I am happy, no fighting, no problem at all.”
Gov Ayade casting y his vote at 04 polling unit at Gakun Town Hall, Ipong Registration area, Obudu LGA