By Benson Ezugwu
Calabar – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced training of 200 electoral officers in preparation for the forthcoming rerun elections in Cross River.
The Administrative Secretary of the commission in the state, Mrs Ngozi Oghuma, on Tuesday said the training was part of INEC’s preparation for the elections slated for Jan. 25.
Oghuma, who is overseeing the affairs of INEC in Cross River, said the commission was doing everything possible to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“We have started with the training of Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), and it will continue with other categories of officers, including the Youth Corps members that will participate in the elections.
“I advise the participants to take the training serious and take advantage of the training to ensure free, fair and credible elections,‘’ she said.
Mrs Anthonia Nwobi, Head of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP), said that the training of the SPOs was designed to equip them with required skills and act as facilitators during the training of Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs).
“The training of the POs and APOs who are National Youth Service Corps members will take place in Community Secondary School, Itigidi (Abi Local Government Area), from January 16-18,‘’ Nwobi said.
She said the House of Representatives rerun election for Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency would hold in 18 polling units in Ekureku 1 and 11, in Abi local government area.
“Abi State Constituency elections will hold in 15 units scattered in five Wards; namely: Afafanya/Igonigoni, Ekureku 1, Imabana 1 and 11, and Itigidi,‘’ she said.
It would be recalled that INEC had declared Mr Alex Egbona of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of Yakurr/Abi federal constituency during the 2019 elections, but the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Mr John Lebo, rejected the result and challenged it at the tribunal.
The Federal High Court sitting in Calabar ordered a rerun in 18 polling units within the time stipulated by the Electoral Act.