The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River has warned political parties in the state to desist from violating the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the 2019 general elections in the country.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Frankland Briyai, gave the warning Tuesday in an interactive meeting with Chairmen and Secretaries of registered political parties held at the Mini Conference Hall of INEC in Calabar.
Briyai stated that the warning was imperative to avoid sanctions against erring political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The REC advised all political parties that had commenced campaigns for their candidates through bill boards and posters to remove same or face sanctions by INEC as stipulated in the Electoral Act.
Briyai stated that the INEC Time Table and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections had clearly stipulated the period for campaigns and other activities before the elections and urged the political parties to adhere strictly by the rules.
He lauded the political parties in the state for working hard with INEC to ensure a peaceful political climate in the state, assuring that, “come 2019, Cross River State will be better off than what has been recorded in the state in the past.”
“I am not here to blacklist any political party, I am here to encourage them to operate in peace,” he added, and advised the political parties to begin to sensitize their supporters to come out en-mass to vote during the 2019 elections.
The REC stated that; “with the current readiness of INEC to conduct the 2019 elections, if you must win elections, you must be popular.”
“Have supporters with PVCs. If you have hoodlums as your supporters without PVCs, they will not help you because without PVCs, they will not vote.
“Don’t be violent. Violence does not pay. Let us also know that no matter how much money you make in politics, you won’t take it to the grave and you don’t need to kill somebody to become a leader,” Dr. Briyai added.
Speaking, the state Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Pastor Sunday Michael, expressed confidence that if all the political parties in the state adhered to the electoral guidelines and the political parties’ constitution, there would be a free and fair elections in the Cross River.
Michael commended the REC for keeping to the promises made to the political parties on assumption of office in the state and assured that IPAC would enforce its Code as well as help INEC to enforce the electoral law for a successful election in the state.