Home Politics Ayade Decries Late Arrival Of Materials, Fears Disenfranchisement

Ayade Decries Late Arrival Of Materials, Fears Disenfranchisement

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Andy Esiet, Calabar 

Gov. Ben Ayade

Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has decried the late arrival of election materials in Obudu Local Government Area for the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday.

The governor who voted lat about 14.8pm at Isong Ward said the late arrival of the materials is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the people of Obudu.

He said, “Well I am surprised that the time is already gone past two 0’clock and I have just cast my vote at about 2:08am. We didn’t have materials until 1:pm and when the materials did arrive, there were no INEC staff available to attend to voters.

 “Worryingly, according to INEC, its Rack Technology  System(Rack Tech) is switches off at a certain time in Abuja, what is the possibility that my people will not be disenfranchised. This is a heavily populated area and some people are already getting tired and itching to leave out of frustration. “

Ayade stated that “as a governor and one who is also running for the Senate, if could not vote until it was eight minutes past two, it’s also a big worry for me. Beyond that, I have equally received calls from other Polling units expressing concern about late arrival and non availability of INEC staff.

“What this seems to suggest is that there’s a deliberate manipulation to ensure that the votes from Obudu are lowered, occasioned by the machines either not working or are being shut down. This indeed,  is disturbing, to say the least. I hope INEC will allow every single person who has come here to vote to do so without being institutionally disenfranchised.”

The late commencement of voting in Obudu caused some tension and worries as large number of voters had gathered at various polling centres ready to vote. 

Generally the election was peaceful so far in the state except minor cases of the BIVAS machine malfunctioning in some areas in Calabar and Abi and late arrival of materials.

Early hours of voting day witnessed tight security at various points in Calabar and the outskirts. 

Voters in Akamkpa, in Akamkpa local government, Akpet in Biase LGA, Ugep in Yakubu LGA and in Abi LGA turned out in large area and accreditation and voting commenced early.

Something striking was noticed along the Murrtala Mohammed highway in Calabar where over 300 tankers usually park by the road side waiting for their turn to buy fuel at the tank farms had all disappeared. It is believed they went home for elections in the north.

As at 10 am Youths Corp members and election materials were seen by the road side for vehicles at Akpet Central in Biase Local G Area to come and carry them to various polling units.

The BVAS machine for  Unit 014, Ministry of Agriculture, Ijiman Ugep in Yakurr LGA of Cross River State was malfunctioning but was later resolved and voting commenced. 

Over all, in most polling units in Yakurr and Ikom LGAs, large turn outs of accredited voters were seen queuing for their turn to vote and Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba said “the exercise was very peaceful and the turn out good”.

Heavy presence of soldiers and police were called to noticed especially at checkpoints of the Calabar – Ikom – Ogoja highway in Central senatorial. 

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