The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River, Mr Mike Igini wants residents of the state to come to the polling stations with their video cameras to record the governorship election.
Igini said in Calabar that “You are free to come to the polling units with your video cameras to record proceedings at every polling unit and collation centre.
“What we want is openness, we want the people of Cross River and Nigerians to take ownership of the electoral process in this country.”
Igini told The Tide’s source that INEC was ready to conduct a free and fair governorship election on Feb. 25, in the state.
He, however, said that politicians, should campaign to get their mandate from the electorate, instead of getting them from the courts.
According to him, politicians had been spending a lot of resources on litigations at the electoral tribunals, hence he advised that such resources should rather be utilised for the development of the country.
“We have spent so much money on tribunal cases. Such money should have been used for development of Nigeria, the REC said.
He said that it was the desire of INEC to put an end to endless litigations at electoral tribunals in Nigeria.
Igini continued that INEC in Cross River was determined to make Cross River one of the states that would start the process that would make politicians to accept election results without going to the tribunal.
The REC said no fewer than three security personnel would be at every polling unit in the state in the forthcoming election.
He advised political parties to provide INEC with the list and pictures of their agents, who would be expected at the polling units for the election.
“The list of all agents of political parties that will be present at every polling unit with their pictures should be submitted seven days before the elections.
“This is to ensure that at every polling unit you have the presence of all the agents,’’ he said.
Igini said that INEC would sanction anybody, who failed to adhere to the rules of the game.
“And to the electorates I say, you have a responsibility, people should not go to polling units to canvass for votes 24 hours before the elections.
“There should be no campaign within that period; we will be watching out. In fact, that was one of the key issues in our security meeting.
“All the security agents should ensure that at every polling unit, those who make the mistake of coming there to canvass for votes will be arrested,’’ he said.
He warned that politicians, who distribute money, during the elections would be arrested.
“On the day of the election, it is a punishable offence to campaign.
“We shall discipline anybody found to have either been distributing money or canvassing for votes at any polling unit,’’ Igini said.
CVR: Traditional Ruler Tasks INEC On Mass Mobilisation
A traditional ruler in Elele community, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Mike Elechi, has called on the indigenes of the community and the state to participate in the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) to enable them choose who will govern them in the next general elections.
Sir Elechi also used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to organise stakeholders meeting in his community, saying that such interactive session would shed more light on the importance of the electoral process.
Elechi stated this in an interview with journalists in his home town over the weekend, saying that the call became imperative following the hardship faced by the citizens as result of bad leadership in the country
The former Permanent Secretary said although he was yet to see the commencement of the exercise in the area, he, stated the need to organise stakeholders meeting by the electoral empire which would achieve the desired objectives.
According to him, INEC has by this exercise provided an opportunity for full participation of those above 18 years who were not registered during the last exercise
The Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms, said INEC had provided yet another platform for eligible voters to register and vote out bad government led by the federal government.
“As I urge INEC to carry out adequate sensitization ,it behoves those above 18 years to register and vote and as well be voted for.
“Get your voters card to enable you throw bad governance into the dustbin.
“It will also help us get out where we are now.”
Elechi pointed out that his community has a large number of voters in Ikwerre Local Government area, stressing that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the exercise was in the area .
By: Akujobi Amadi
Diri Cautions Appointees Over Early Politicking
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has cautioned his appointees against early politicking ahead of the 2023 elections, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them found wanting.
Speaking before commencement of the weekly state Executive Council meeting in Government House Governor Diri frowned on the activities of some of his appointees, which he said were hitting up the polity ahead of the 2023 elections, stressing that it was too early for open politicking.
A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying despite people having the right to aspire to any political office, the time was not ripe for politicking.
Diri reminded his appointees that the administration lost considerable time last year due to COVID-19 and needless litigations, stressing that it was in a hurry to deliver on its campaign promises and would not afford to waste time politicking.
He wondered why appointees would be involved in open politicking when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not even released a timetable for elections.
The state helmsman urged members of his cabinet interested in open politicking at this time, especially those from Bayelsa West Senatorial District, to resign or be ready to be sacked.
He called on all those involved in the early politicking to immediately withdraw and follow the directives of his administration, saying his government was not ready for politics at this time.
“I find it very difficult to believe that appointees in this government have already started open politicking.
“Yes, it is the constitutional right of anybody to contest but even the Bible tells us that there is time for everything. At this time, we are trying to stamp our feet to meet up our campaign promises to our people.”
“I hereby caution all those involved to immediately withdraw. If you are prepared to continue with this government, you must listen to the music of this administration. We are not prepared to start politicking from this year”, he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Diri has also sworn in two new Special Advisers.
They are, Alabo Ozubide, Special Adviser, Legal Matters, and Onuma Johnson, Special Adviser on Non-Indigenes.
While congratulating them, he said their appointments were based on merit and in line with his campaign promises, charging them to avoid friction with commissioners,just as he reiterated that their cooperation with commissioners would deliver development to the people of the state.
“We promised that when elected, we would appoint a Special Adviser from among non-ndigenes. This appointment is in fulfilment of that promise. We believe that you will be able to synergise and gather non-indigenes together.
“Often, we see role conflicts between special advisers and commissioners that duty bound to implement government policies. You as special advisers should cooperate with them,” he said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
PDP Urges Nigerians To Embrace E-Registration Of Members
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace in its online membership registration scheduled to begin in August.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan made the appeal during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to visit www.iampdp.com for the online registration at the comfort of their homes.
He also expressed delight over requests from Nigerians and the interests they were already showing for the online registration.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to come to PDP and own the process.
The PDP spokesman also commended Nigerians on the way they embraced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) online ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He said “PDP is happy to hear the INEC saying no fewer than one million Nigerians have completed their online pre-registration.”
Ologbondiyan said the way Nigerians embraced the CVR showed they were dissatisfied with governance in the country and ready for 2023.
He urged Nigerians of voting age and those yet to register for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to continue with the CVR.
He said “We appeal to those who are educated, especially members of the PDP to encourage others to participate in the ongoing CVR.”
Ologbondiyan also urged Nigerians to register to enable them to vote, pointing out that people should know it is their rights to vote.
Asked how PDP would conduct its e-registration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent comment on Nigeria network covered, Ologbondiyan said as far as PDP was concerned, every part of Nigeria had network coverage.
“From the information we have received from all our members across the 36 states and across the 774 local governments area of the country, there is no where that we have received a report that they cannot carry out online registration.
“Even INEC has come out to say that they have no problems with online registration.
“We are happy that INEC has come out to reveal that not less than one million Nigerians have so far participated in the Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise of the commission,” he said.
On inquiry over the role of the National Assembly members on electronic transmission of election results, he said the party would meet its members in the National Assembly to review their participation.
He said “The PDP is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the National Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the National Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results.”
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