By Ene Asuquo
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has expressed displeasure over the late arrival of voting materials for Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Ayade who voted at exactly 14:08pm at Polling Unit 033, Ipong Ward lamented that his people were at the prospect of being disenfranchised owing to what he attributed to delayed arrival of materials.
“Well I am surprised that the time is already gone past two 0’clock and I have just cast my vote at about 2:08pm.We didn’t have materials until 1:pm and when the materials did arrive, there were no INEC staff available to attend to voters.”
Continuing, Governor said: “Worryingly, according to INEC, its Rack Technology System(Rack Tech) is switches off at a certain time in Abuja, what is the possibility that my people will not be disenfranchised. This is a heavily populated area and some people are already getting tired and itching to leave out of frustration. “
Ayade further disclosed that “as a governor and one who is also running for the Senate, if could not vote until it was eight minutes past two, it’s also a big worry for me. Beyond that, I have equally received calls from other Polling units expressing concern about late arrival and non availability of INEC staff.
“What this seems to suggest is that there’s a deliberate manipulation to ensure that the votes from Obudu are lowered, occasioned by the machines either not working or are being shut down. This indeed, is disturbing, to say the least.”
To ensure that no one is disenfranchised, the governor appealed: “I hope INEC will allow every single person who has come here to vote to do so without being institutionally disenfranchised.”