Judex Okoro, Calabar
Ahead of this week’s rescheduled presidential and National Assembly polls, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai, has stated that the commission is not working for any political party in the state.
Briyai said it was unfortunate that after he and his team had worked round the clock to ensure credible and fair elections in the state some people were still not satisfied; rather they were accusing them of partisanship.
He said: “I’ve been accused that I have been working for a political party and most of the things that have been published online are just fake news. Nobody has confronted me on that.
“We have moved all our sensitive materials to different local government areas in the state and when the elections were rescheduled, the same security people who took the materials down to the local government areas eventually brought them back the Central Bank of Nigeria; so these things are not true.
“All the smart card readers have been returned and we have reconfigured them. The deadline given to us is tomorrow, Wednesday, and we finished ours yesterday and we have well over 3,000 of them; we are set to go”, he said
On the exponential increase in new voters in Obudu local government which is the governors, LGA, he said based on the process of the continuous voters’ exercise, people presented themselves and what INEC did was just to register them.
He said all arrangements like transportation, security and other logistics had been perfected ahead of this week’s rescheduled elections.
According to him, we are waiting for the time and days of movement and I don’t think we have any issues against the elections.
He said following the security committee meeting which had just been concluded, adequate security measures had been conceptualised and they were going to be actualised on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the general elections.
The Cross River State Commissioner for Police, Austin Agbonlahor, said everything had been put in place to ensure the success of the elections, promising that those intending to truncate the process would face the full wrath of the law.
“All law-abiding citizens of the state are free to go out and vote but those who want to foment trouble will face the wrath of the law.
“There is peace restored in Etung. The real problem in that place was that the two prominent political parties were having a reconciliatory/peace meeting without informing the security agencies but now we have taken over the place and there is peace now.
“We have our rules of engagement and I will advise that no one should harbour the intention of snatching ballot boxes and papers,” he said.