Reasons CROSIEC Shouldn’t Conduct Elections This Saturday – By Ini Imah
By Ini Imah,
It came as great shock to a myriad of people who saw the release made by Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) that the State electoral body saddled with the responsibility of conducting free, fair and credible elections have fixed Saturday, 30th May 2020 as date for the Local Government elections.
The propensity of CROSIEC conducting a ‘credible’ election come this Saturday is very low based on the factors used in ascertaining a credible conduction of election. One of the factors is preparedness by the body conducting the elections.
Is CROSIEC fully prepared to conduct the LG elections this Saturday?
It does not seem so, as it appears that CROSIEC is yet to
i) Update the INEC Voters Register; which is a very good tool used in ensuring that citizens who are due to vote are captured.
The Electoral Guidelines allow that, for any elections to be conducted after a period of 6 months (in any location), the INEC register MUST be updated.
This is to allow newly turned 18 years of age citizens the opportunity of being captured in the voters register…
…and it is over 6 months since the last election was conducted in Cross River State.
ii) Publish Names of Validated Voters Register two weeks before elections:
CROSIEC should not use their ascendancy in depriving eligible citizens the opportunity to choose their leader as it is their fundamental rights. Every eligible Cross Riverian and resident have suffrage, therefore they should be given the window to exercise their franchise.
A list of eligible voters should be published and posted at the various polling units for checks, confirmation and corrections; so that missing and erroneously spelt names can be identified and corrected for elections…
…but as at Monday, 25th May 2020, no list containing voters’ names have been posted.
It is worthy of note that 4 (four) days are not enough to publish, check, correct and republish names of eligible voters, which would in turn help accreditation on the day of election.
At least two weeks notice should be given before any elections are conducted, to ascertain fairness and credibility.
iii) Train Election Monitoring Staff: without adequate training, there will be errors and mix-up in monitoring an election which is expected to bring into positions, grassroot leaders; the most sensitive part of a democratic government…
…and when there are errors in monitoring, there’ll definitely be mistakes in reporting, compilation and announcement of election results; a factor that massively discredits an electoral process.
So, to subjugate our worry and fears, the election should be taken to a later date (minimum of fourteen days) while CROSIEC rejig the timetable to accommodate a standard process of conducting a local government elections that will show fairness and integrity.
A good leader listens to the voices of the people
Announce a new date of a fourteen Day period to allow for a free, fair and credible election.