By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
A coalition of APC Support Groups in Cross River State, has carried out a peaceful protest against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, calling for his immediate removal of re-deployment.
In a 13-point petition, addressed to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), read by the state chairman, Comrade Iso Bassey Edim, the group alleged that the Cross River Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) attends nocturnal meetings with the ruling PDP party in Cross River.
“He had also shown outright bias and complicity with the ruling class in PDP in the state and he had announced the removal of all APC candidates in the last election, claiming that APC Cross River state never had candidates for the elections only for him to allocate votes to the same people he claimed were not part of the elections”.
Furthermore, “even with his illegal removal of APC candidates few hours to the election, the REC suspended elections in Etung local government area, wards and polling units in Boki, Obubra and Ikom local government areas and still went ahead to announce winners of elections in the aforementioned areas”.
The group further said “in the Northern Senatorial district of the state, the Resident Electoral Commissioner allegedly gave sensitive materials like ballot booklets to PDP’s candidates in connivance with NYSC and other INEC officials to thumbprint massively for PPD candidates and the video clips are there”.
Regrettably, the REC in Cross River state suspended, postponed and cancelled elections in Etung local government area, wards and polling uinte in Boki, Obubra and Ikom local government areas on the 23rd of February,2019, only for him to come on air on the 4th March, 2019 to announce that there is not going to b a re-run elections in any part of Cross River state”.
Given the above reasons, the group calls for the total cancellation of the massively rigged National Assembly elections in the state, a new date .fixed for a new election where names of APC candidates would be in INEC list and the electorates would consciously turn out to vote for their preferred candidates to correct the blunder caused by the REC himself”.
The group said ” we have lost total confidence in INEC’s REC and as a support group of APC in the state with more than 500,000 members, we cannot participate in any election that is super intended by the biased REC”.
“A postponment of the Cross River State governahip and States House of Assembly elections would really b appreciated to reduce the tension and also minimize the corrupt activities of the current Resident Electoral Commissioner, they added”.
The group therefore called on the INEC National Chairman the treat the petition with all amount of transparency and urgency it deserves.
At the APC party Secretariat, the Vice chairman, Southern Senatorial district, Mr. Effiom Olori, said the exco appreciates the position of the coalition group and promised that their protests will be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for during consideration.
He lauded the commitment of the group towards ensuring that the right INEC conducts a free and fair elections.
More than 5,000 members marched at the party secretariat to drop a copy of their petition.