The Evangelist News edition, Sunday, December 3, 2023. By Godwin Otang
The Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) has hinted that the processes for the commencement of local government elections in the State will begin in January, 2024.
The Chairman of CROSIEC, Associate Prof. John Ushie disclosed this at one-day stakeholder review and validation of the Draft Revised Guidelines for the conduct of local government elections in the State organized by TafAfrica and partners held in Calabar on Thursday.
He said though there is no official date for the grassroots polls but the Commission is sure it will be held next year.
conduct local government elections. We issued a three months ultimatum to the State government which will expire by next month December. So we still stand on that.”
Meanwhile, the State Chairman of the Albinism Association of Nigeria, Cross River and Project Officer of TAFAFRICA, Pastor Bassey Mbang said the event is meant to add a voice to CROSIEC guidelines
“This is the climax of what the Disability Rights Fund Project is about. We are trying to ensure that elections are inclusive of persons with disabilities. We are only here to review the electoral guidelines of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission and to add a voice. Every group here has made imputes on how the guidelines should go henceforth.”
Stakeholders at the event who were drawn from both government and non-governmental organizations, disability groups, and the media, made some recommendations bordering on some gray areas, including that polling stations or units should be disabled and security friendly, have interpreters for persons with disabilities, and be accessible.
They also recommended that all the 196 political wards in Cross River should have an interpreter each or at least one per local government, during LGA polls and that the general voting age should be 18 years, including creating a disability desk office at the CROSIEC.