Cross River LG Polls: Fever Pitch Preparations Visible

Ahead of the Cross River local council polls tomorrow, scores of policemen are up to the time of filing this report, being transported from the State Command Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar to the 18 local government areas of the state to help maintain law and order during and after the elections. Outside the perimetre fence of the headquarters, several buses have formed an unending line, waiting to take turns and convey the policemen to where they have been posted.

The line up of buses at the State police Hqtrs to convey the policemen
The line up of buses at the State police Hqtrs to convey the policemen

One police source told that, “this is a normal exercise and we are just going there as part of our duty, no more no less.” On how long they hope to be in the field, the source declined to say and referred to “my superiors who can answer that question. My own is to go and come as directed.”
A detachment of policemen leaving for the LG election posting
A detachment of policemen leaving for the LG election posting

In most government offices today, most principal officers were not available and upon enquiries, was told that most of them have travelled to their respective places of origin “to deliver their wards to the PDP, as so directed.” The car park in the Governor’s Office, Calabar, remained a shadow of itself as the normal hustle and bustle that has become the park’s second nature was not there. The story was not different at the old and new secretariats of the state.

Meanwhile, reports monitored from field correspondents across the state show that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a more visible posture in her campaigns. In Obudu, sources there say campaigns were rounded off this morning and that most party men and women have so far retired to a less visible campaign strategy in the hours leading up to the election. The situation is “very calm here”, one source told, by phone from Yala LGA. “We are just sitting down, drinking and exchanging pleasantries with so many of our friends who have travelled from far and wide to be here”, the source revealed. Major parts of the Central Senatorial District are also calm with last minute politicking taking place. “At this point we are putting final touches to the campaigns we have embarked on, all week”, our source in Obubra said.

One member of the APC, on condition of anonymity, hinted that, “this whole election will be a nullity in the end because this afternoon, Justice Ofem Ikpi Ofem of the Cross River State High Court, sitting in Calabar has told these PDP people who say his court does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter, that his court has jurisdiction and cited 36 authorities in his judgement. If the state’s legal team know what they are doing, they will advice CROSIEC to halt the elections because I can promise you that there is a long legal battle ahead and it is the state’s finances that will suffer.”

Controversial as the build-up to the elections have been, the electoral body in the state, looks poised to go ahead with the elections, exclusive of the APC. The days ahead may be politically exciting.

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