Sunday, 10 March 2019

#CrossRiverDecides2019: APC agent walks out of State Collation Centre in protest... Read details here

Nyok|10 March 2019 

The Cross River State All Progressives Congress, APC agent for the gubernatorial elections in the state, Sir Maurice Effiwatt, has staged a protest at the INEC State Collation Centre in protest against the electoral process in the state. 

Effiwatt has premised his action to protest on three counts: alleged collusion of INEC State Resident Electoral Commission (REC)  Dr Frankland Briyai with the CRSG led by the PDP, failure of INEC to use card readers in Obudu LGA and the status of an appointee of the present state government as a returning officer. 

His words, 'The reasons for my action this morning are not far fetched : (1) As a Party, we had earlier protested on the high-level collusion between the REC in CRS and the PDP State Government, and prayed with earnest expectations that they (PDP & INEC) will sin no more. 

'(2) In the course of my duty today, I witnessed the first declaration by Professor Eklaki from Obudu LGA, who returned the results of Akpabuyo LGA. In his submission, he eloquently said that they allowed votes that were cast without Card Reader accreditation. I raised an objection to that result, but the compromised REC over-ruled me. I took my seat and kept quiet. 

'(3) I witnessed the second declaration by Rev. Fr. Juluis Ada from Obudu LGA, who, apart from being a Catholic Priest and a lecturer, is also an appointee of the PDP Government in CRS. He also returned the results of Ogoja LGA. When he finished his declaration, I raised two objections and demanded answers. 
A : Is it an accident or a premeditated act that two of the Returning Officers, so far, come from the same LGA (Obudu) as the PDP Governorship candidate ? In line with the federal character principle, one expected that each of the 18 Local Government Areas of Cross River State, should have a Returning Officer each. 
B : When did Catholic Priests start becoming Returning Officers in an INEC conducted elections and which Catholic Bishop or Archbishop granted him leave to serve in that capacity ? This is so because he is incardinated in Ogoja diocese but lecturing in Calabar diocese.'

According to him, he refused to cause confusion at the state collation centre by deciding to leave the venue in protest. According to him, the Biase REC is biased. 

Meanwhile, the PDP is in an early lead in the already returned result so far with SDP and APC following behind. 

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