By Edem Darlington
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has directed its officials in Cross River to stop the use of card readers.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Okey Ezeani, said the directive became necessary due to several complaints across the state on the card readers.
“From the look of things, it means we might even not use the card reader during the other elections,” he said. “IRS (is) a machine, it can fail anytime. Instead if disenfranchising voters I have directed them to stop using the card readers.”
Meanwhile, some electoral officials in charge of Akam Ward in Ikom Local Government Area are said to have absconded from their polling unit.
The officials reportedly fled the polling units amidst reports that there were plans to lynch them and do away with the electoral materials by agents of a political party.
Despite restriction of vehicular movement across the state and heavy deployment of security operatives, there are fears across the state of safety of voters.
At about 1:15 p.m., voting had commenced across many polling units in the state.
However, in Obubu, the PDP governorship candidate and senator representing Cross River North, Benedict Ayade, complained of late accreditation. As at 2 p.m., voting was yet to commence.