The Cross River State Electoral Commission has scheduled the long awaited local government council elections for February 22, next year.
Dr. Michael Ushie, the chairman of the commission, disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Dr. Ushie, who noted that the commission was unable to conduct council elections four years after the last tenure, told representatives of political parties at the meeting that Governor Ben Ayade has consented to the conduct of the polls next year.
According to him, “as obtained in Section 204 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in accordance to section 20, subsection 1 (a) and (b) of the Cross River State Electoral Law, Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State has approve and directed the conduct of local government election in the state.”
“Notice is hereby given that Cross River State Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, shall conduct the said local government election on the 22nd of February 2020,” Ushie further stated.
The commission boss urged all political parties in the state to commence violence free political activities, stating “all political parties are, therefore, to commence political activities gear toward a successful and violence free elections”.
He said that a detailed timetable and election guidelines have been released and would be given to all political parties, the media and other stakeholders to enhance strict adherence.
Ushie repeatedly stressed the importance of adhering to electoral laws, saying “political parties are free to go ahead with their campaigns. However, I must warn that this commission would not condone any breach of the electoral law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We will not condone any form of violence before, during and after campaigns and the elections. Any polling unit that constitute violence or ballot box snatching or vote buying during the course of the elections, the results from such areas will be cancelled,” warned Ushie.
The meeting ended with the distribution of printed copies of the election time-table, which indicates that from December 8, 2019, the commission would hold series of meetings with various stakeholders across the three senatorial districts, while political parties would be expected to commence campaign rallies from February 7 to 21 midnight.