By Emma Una
CALABAR- TO protect voters and adhoc staff, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in conjunction with the Cross River Police Command have designated eight security agents to each polling unit in the House of Assembly bye election for Obudu State Constituency scheduled for Saturday, 11th, August.
Dr Frankland Briyai, the Cross River State Electoral Commissioner, REC, who stated this in Calabar on Wednesday while giving details of plans for the election said the high number of security agents at each polling unit is to forestall violence and ensure a peaceful conduct of the election.
He listed the security agents to be policemen, soldiers, Naval personnel, Immigration and Civil Defense Corps members who have already been mobilised to Obudu and neighbouring towns waiting for their deployment to polling units on Friday
“Four political parties: People’s Democratic Party, PDP, All Progressives Congress, APC, African Democratic Congress, ADC and Mega Party of Nigeria fielded candidates for the bye election and those parties and their candidates would sign a peace accord on Thursday to commit themselves to a smooth conduct of the election”.
He said the accord is sequel to outbreak of clashes between the PDP and APC supporters on Saturday where some people had their limbs broken and vehicles destroyed and called for peaceful atmosphere in the election.
The REC stated that seven hundred adhoc staff have been trained to conduct the election in the one hundred and seventeen polling units across the ten wards in the constituency.
‘We have moved less sensitive materials to our area office in Obudu and on Thursday morning at 10am, the Central Bank shall deliver the sensitive materials to us here which we shall immediately transport to Obudu”
He declared that the results would be announced on the same day soon after the completion of voting and sorting of results since it is just one constituency that the election is holding and there are enough staff on ground to handle the election.
“We have seventy two thousand voters from the 2015 and 2017 registration and we will give preference to the elderly, pregnant women, disabled persons because once a voter is accredited he or she would be allowed to vote, no accreditation and returning later to vote”.
He said two card readers have been assigned to one polling unit and there are technical staff on ground to handle any technical hitches that may arise from the card readers malfunctioning or the inability of the adhoc staff to operate them.