The Cross River State Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to digitalize the electoral process to reduce human contact as this will help reduce the high risk of Corona virus spread associated with conventional voting system in Nigerians. Dr Edu made this known to the newly posted Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr Hart Emmanuel during a courtesy visit/familiarization visit earlier in her office.

“Let me start by congratulating you on your appointment as the REC for CRS and to officially welcome you to our State, as you know, CRS is the People’s Paradise and a land of hospitality made up of very civil, peace loving people. We’re pleased to have you sent to our State and I can ssure you of our unflinching support and synergy all through your stay. There’s going to be a great working relationship between the health Ministry and INEC especially as we approach the northern senatorial elections where we must monitor full compliance to the preventive measures to Gaurd against Corona Virus spread in our state.

I’ll wish to use this medium to solicit your Commissions cooperation to see that our Electoral Processes can be Digitalize, void gathering, making use of infrared thermometers for screening, provide hand washing items as well as hand sanitizers and encourage electorate to use mask; as this will help reduce the risk associated with conducting an Election during outbreak of COVID-19 or other pandemics even though we’re not praying for any future occurrences of such.”

Dr Edu expressed her confidence towards the new REC stating that with the zeal, passion and experience shown so far, the State is rest assured that they can always get the best of electoral practices just like CROSIEC displayed in the just concluded Local Government Area elections.

On his part, Dr Hart Emmanuel and his team thanked the Honorable Commissioner for the warm reception amidst her busy schedule and assured her of partnership/synergy to ensure that elections in CRS remains free, fair and without violence. He also reiterated that INEC has strategized and brought out policies/guidelines that are in accordance with the NCDC guidelines to help reduce the spread of the virus and other subsequent pandemics. We will work with your team to achieve our mandate while keeping Cross Riverians safe.

In the visit was the Permanent Secretary of the Cross River Ministry of Health Barr Takim Asu Takim, the Director of Public Health Dr Iwara Iwara, INEC Head of Operations Mr Hezekiah Monday, INEC Head of ICT Mr Tonye Dudefia, INEC protocol officer Mr Kingsley Nsa and a host of other dignitaries.

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