Maurice Effiwatt, Director General of the John Owan Enoh Campaign Organization has this afternoon at the INEC Office, Calabar, questioned the rationale behind making a Catholic priest the Returning Officer in Ogoja LGA, in yesterday’s governorship elections.
Effiwatt wrote to say on his Facebook page that he “…witnessed the second declaration by Rev. Fr. Juluis Ada from Obudu LGA, who, apart from being a Catholic Priest and a lecturer, is also an appointee of the PDP Government in CRS. He also returned the results of Ogoja LGA. When he finished his declaration, I raised two objections and demanded answers. Is it an accident or a premeditated act that two of the Returning Officers, so far, come from the same LGA (Obudu) as the PDP Governorship candidate ? In line with the federal character principle, one expected that each of the 18 Local Government Areas of Cross River State, should have a Returning Officer each. When did Catholic Priests start becoming Returning Officers in an INEC conducted elections (sic) and which Catholic Bishop or Archbishop granted him leave to serve in that capacity ? This is so because he is incardinated in Ogoja diocese but lecturing in Calabar diocese.”
Sources inside INEC, Cross River State, however maintained to www.calitown.com that the priest was engaged to be a Returning Officer “because he is a lecturer in the University of Calabar and not because he is a priest. I think Effiwatt and his party are trying to stir up dust where there is none. There is too much to be done by this office, don’t expect us to go doing background checks on Returning Officers.” On the issue of two R.Es coming from Obudu, the same source waved the subject away, telling us that, “let them go and properly handle their electoral loses and leave out any attempts to poison the minds of the average Cross Riverians.”
Adah, the Catholic priest was unavailable for comments at press time.
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