Eme Offiong, Calabar
Twenty-six candidates will on Saturday vie for the governorship seat in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Also contending for 25 House of Assembly seats are 268 candidates on the platform of 26 political parties some of which include; DPM, YPP, Accord, KOWA, NCP, FRESH, PDP, APC and SDP amongst others.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai disclosed this during a stakeholders conference in Calabar, the capital city.
Dr Briyai said the commission was already distributing sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, stressing that only names of candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC were delisted in line with the Federal High Court order.
He further said “we have 26 governorship candidates contesting for the seat. Despite the fact that we have over 90 political parties taking part in Nigeria, in Cross River only twenty-six presented governorship candidates.”
The Commissioner used the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to enforce INEC’s guidelines on the use of the smart card readers, snatching of ballot papers and electoral violence.
“We are telling the people of Cross River that we are ready for Saturday’s elections. Adequate security arrangements have been made and we are assuring Nigerians of our services. In the same vein we are warning all those, who have no business in the polling booths, the collation centres and the Registration Area Centres, INEC offices to steer clear,” Dr Briyai.
”In a nutshell, we are saying the security agencies are ready to provide the needed security. So, we are urging electorate to come out and cast their votes without fear,”he added.
The Governorship and State House of Assembly elections would be conducted in 2,283 polling units across 193 wards of the 18 Local Government Areas.