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Imoke Scores Local Government Election High

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San Francisco, August 29, (THEWILL) - Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has described the August 28 Local Government election in the state as free and fair devoid of any major incident.

While fielding questions from newsmen after casting his vote at Government Primary School Itigidi polling unit, Abi Local Government Area, Imoke said he was impressed with the turn out at the unit as well as information received from other parts of the State.

Imoke attributed the late arrival of voting materials at Etung and Ikom Local Government Areas to an accident in which the vehicle conveying them was involved, hoping that the state Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) would allow voters exercise their franchise after the stipulated time of 3 O’clock in the afternoon in those areas.

The Governor disclosed that materials were dispatched to Local Government Headquarters in time for delivery to all nooks and corners of the state, and said hiccups identified in the course of transportation should not be seen as challenges but routine which would be addressed due to the terrain of the state.

He said he expected an impressive turn out at the 194 wards across the state because CROSIEC had sensitized the populace to ensure a credible election in line with his "One man, One vote" charge on the people.

Imoke explained that democracy in the country is progressing despite its set back as the roles played by all stakeholders during Local Government election would determine the out come of 2011 elections.

The Governor, however, debunked an allegation that the ruling party, PDP, was using government apparatus at the detriment of the opposition parties during the election, explaining that all parties were given a level playing ground to express not only their popularity but acceptance and that PDP had campaigned more vigorously than any other party across the state to enable it win.

Mrs. Ekama Awara, Commissioner for Women Affairs, an indigene of the area, disclosed that as her office entails, she mobilized women not only in the area but across the state to participate in the election.

According to Awara, her drive was hinged on meeting the 35% requirement of women participation in politics as well as enabling them realize how effective and powerful they could be in electing their representatives into elective offices at all tiers of Government.