Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to alter the election timetable to enhance the process of governance in Nigeria.
Governor Ayade was speaking when the newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr. Briyai Frankland paid him a visit in his office in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Professor Ayade, who was visibly elated to host the REC, gave reason for the call on INEC to review the election processes, explaining “we will like you to assist us serve our people better. Electing people into offices through the instrumentality of your –INEC’s – officiating elections is not enough, rather hold us accountable and ensure that our people derive the maximum full from this process”.
“Barely two years into office, the clamour for 2019 is so heightened. I am worried for this country because we are just going through the cycles of elections and no time for governance”, Ayade opined.
The Governor further reasoned that with the early release of INEC’s election timetable, those in elective office practical end the process of governance and rather focus on campaigns, a situation, which he believed was a disservice to the people.
“This is one important message I am passing to you to Professor Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, to please, look at a situation where we would review our electoral processes”, he urged.
“The processes, energy and money put into elections is just too much. That is why most developed countries adopt a collegiate system and reduce the pressure. The level of enmity, the acrimonies that come with the election, the personal hatred, the destruction of fortunes and lives during elections do not worth it”, added Governor Ayade.
He however, urged the commission to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in Cross River State in 2019.
In an earlier remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Briyai Frankland assured Governor Ayade of his plans to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in the state.
Frankland disclosed that about during the first phase of the recent registration of voters’ exercise, over 73,000 people registered with the commission between April 27 and July 20 this year, while 5000 Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVC, were distributed.
He noted “Obudu recorded the highest number of registered people, that is, over 7000 people; while Yakurr had 6000. Least recorded was in Bakassi Local Government Area”.
“I want to hold a free, fair and transparent election in Cross River State. It is needful and expedient for you to be personally informed of my presence in the State and on the successes of the phase one of the Continuous Voters Registration exercise,” the REC said.