2023: Governor Ayade Meets New REC, Pledges Peaceful Electioneering

THE Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, has promised that there will be a peaceful atmosphere for the 2023 elections in the state.

Cross River Governor Ben Ayade

He made the promise on Tuesday while receiving the new Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Alalibo Johnson, to the state at the Conference Room of the Governor’s Office, Calabar.

He charged Johnson to conduct free, fair, and credible elections in the state, and that with the REC’s track records and integrity, he believed he would deliver.

“On behalf of the good people of Cross River State, l hereby give you that commitment that we will guarantee you free and safe elections; we also call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to please honour its pledge too so that we can have free, fair, credible, reliable and dependable elections.

“Government is not going to, in any way, influence your process, but we want to say that we are available and willing to support you at all times that INEC will so require our services,” he said.

Ayade lauded the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, “who has distinguished himself in this country. Never before have we had an INEC Chairman who has enjoyed the mutual trust from both the ruling party and the opposition parties.

“This is one chairman who has conducted his elections and result-returned based on what is on the ground. He is not subject to any inducement; he is subject to the God that he serves and l want to say that his name would go down in history as one of the very best INEC chairmen that we have ever had. God bless him and God will continue to sustain him.”

Dr Johnson had earlier in his remarks emphasised the need for a conducive atmosphere for free and fair elections to thrive.

“There is no way we can conduct a free and fair election without security. We call on you to use your good offices to ensure that we have peace in the state. Peace in the sense that people can move freely to vote for candidates of their choice, and also, we at the back end of INEC can do our job without intimidation,” he said.

The REC also disclosed that there were about 90,000 uncollected Permanent Voter Cards across the 18 local government areas of the state and appealed to the registrants to come forward and pick up their PVCs.

He further stated that with the creation of new polling units, Cross River now had 3,281 polling units.