Wednesday, 17 July 2024.

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Nigerian politicians erroneously believe they have 2 terms – C’River REC

Prof. Gabriel Yomere, Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Cross River has disclosed that Nigerian politicians erroneously believe they have two terms in office immediately after they are voted.

Yomere made the remark on Friday in Calabar during the Second Quarter Consultative Meeting of INEC, Cross River Management and Leaders of Civil Society Organisations.

The REC who called on Nigerians to shun voter apathy and vote out any underperforming politician said Nigerians must refuse to accept the notion that every politician must serve two terms, whether they performed well or not.

He said criticising an underperforming politician and yet remaining indoors on election days was a sign of high-level irresponsibility on the part of the electorates.

“In 2022 when I took over as the REC in Cross River, going through the records, I saw that the 2019 election turnout was extremely poor, we decided to do something about it but after the 2023 election, the outcome was poor again.

“So, I believe that working with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who have grassroots mobilisation capacity and the security agencies, we can enhance turnouts so that we can choose leaders we desire,” he said.

The academic asserted that CSOs were critical stakeholders but had to work with INEC and security agencies in an atmosphere devoid of bias and gossip.

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Speaking further, Yomere said soon the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would commence and appealed to CSOs to help the electoral umpire mobilise residents of the state in the various nooks and crannies.

He appealed to Nigerians to avoid the late-minute rush for the CVR which makes the work stressful for everyone.

On his part, Mr Nsikak Ikpeme, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Calabar Chapter said the 2023 governorship election in Cross River was greeted with abysmal apathy because the electorates were dissatisfied with the electoral process.

Ikpeme noted that for the entrenchment of a credible election, Nigeria should ensure the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the 2027 election and beyond.

Similarly, the NASFAT Commissioner for Cross River, Sheik Abdulkadir Ibrahim, thanked INEC for the meeting but appealed that the meetings be held regularly on a quarterly basis.

He thanked members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the effort they put into ensuring that members got their PVCs in the 2023 election but said INEC must take steps to check vote trading at the polling units on election days.

Mrs Julie Agbor, President of the National Council of Women Society, (NCWS) called on the commission to work more with the women to reach more electorates at the grassroots.

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Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku is a journalist with an eye for stories that foster growth and development. His wealth of experience cannot be compared to any other as he is always on top of stories that bring about positive change in society.

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