The Inter Party Advisory Council has bemoaned the poor voter turnout in the recently held presidential and National Assembly elections in Cross River on Saturday.
At a press conference in Calabar, Mr. Anthony Attah, the IPAC chairman for Cross River, stated that less than 30% of the state’s voters—444,880 out of more than 1.7 million registered voters—were authorized to cast ballots.
According to Attah, there were up to 700,000 registered voters in the state for the previous election, and this number ought to be rising rather than falling.
“We thank residents of Cross River for coming out for the election but we are dissatisfied with the number; we are expecting to see at least 1.2 million voters in the governorship election which is critical for the state.”
The chairman continued by extending his congratulations to the majority of the winners in the Feb. 25 presidential and NASS elections.
All political parties in the state, he said, have generally accepted the process and results of their victory.
He said that Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong of the APC and Sen. Jarigbe Jarigbe of the PDP, who represent the Northern and Southern Senatorial Districts, respectively, were accepted winners.
However, he insisted that the outcome of the Central Senatorial District election was still debatable because a number of political parties were unhappy with the procedure and had decided to challenge the declared victor, Mr. Eteng Williams, in court.
In addition, Attah congratulated everyone who won a seat in the state’s House of Representatives, with the exception of the winner of the Etung/Obubura Federal Constituency.
According to him, several political parties who had challenged the election in court had rejected Mr. Mike Etaba’s victory as the winner.
He praised the Independent National Electoral Commission for holding an election that was largely transparent and peaceful, urging them to review the list of their ad hoc staff.
He said; “One of the things we are dissatisfied about in the last election was the few appointees of the state government that smuggled themselves in as INEC ad hoc staff.
“At this point we ask that the list of the ad hoc staff be reviewed and anyone who ought not to be there be removed to prevent any infractions.
“We also call on the military formations in Cross River to help us in the coming election by having a massive presence in the three senatorial districts to prevent electoral violence,” he added.