By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) has called on Cross River State government to reconstitute the State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) in preparation for the November 2010 local government elections.
The party expressed concern that since the dissolution of CROSIEC in 2007, there had been no state electoral body in place to handle elections at local government level.
Speaking in Calabar, Acting State Chairman of the party, Mr. Goddie Akpama Archibong, and Secretary, Mr. Paddy Alli, said it was high time an electoral body was put in place for the November council polls.
The chairman expressed fears that if the electoral body was not reconstituted on time, it might lead to a situation where it might be hurriedly put up in a haphazard manner.
He said:Â Â â€œWe (PPA) are urging the state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, to look at the time constraint and urgently put a new CROSIEC in place to start preparing for the elections.
â€œWe in PPA are worried that local government council elections are just ten months away and up till now, the state government has not started making any arrangement for the election to holdâ€.
He also appealed to the state government to allow leaders of opposition parties, under the auspices of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), to nominate some of their members to serve in the proposed electoral body.
He asked the state government to ensure that a proper and effective transport system was put in place before the elections to facilitate smooth movement of voters and electoral officers.
His words: â€œThe number of taxi cabs and busses operating in the state capital today are grossly inadequate.
â€œGovernment should put a very effective transport system in place in the state, so that people will move freely to their council wards to exercise their civic responsibility, so that they are not disenfranchised during the local government elections.â€