In Cross River: Election Observers React to Ben Ayade's re-election as Governor

Ben Ayade

A coalition of domestic election observers has said the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade created a level playground for all contestants during the March 9 governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.

The observers commended Ayade for ensuring an atmosphere for free, fair and credible elections during the last election in the state.

In a report on the elections signed by its leader, Innuabeye Samuel, the observers, who were in the state to monitor the 2019 general elections, insisted that the elections were free, fair and credible.

The body commended Ayade for “providing security and ensuring level playing ground for the electorate and other contestants in the governorship election despite being a candidate too.”

It also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state for being above board.

“The Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr B. Frankland maintained his neutrality all through the electoral process and ensured that everything was in accordance to the electoral guidelines.”

The report noted that Cross River voters exhibited decorum and orderliness during the conduct of the elections.

“Their patience at the polling units, waiting in long queues to ensure that they cast their votes peacefully is highly commendable,” the report said.

The observers stressed that the state was largely peaceful during the elections except for minor isolated incidents in Boki, Ikom, Obubra and Etung areas which were immediately contained by security agencies.

It also urged INEC to ensure that “for future elections matured ad hoc staff were recruited and adequately trained.”