Dr Briyai Frankland, the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River, says the commission will deal decisively with any member of Staff who connive with Politicians to manipulate election results in the State.
Frankland said this on Wednesday at his maiden interactive session with newsmen in Calabar.
He said that after interacting with various stakeholders, he observed that there were negative perceptions about the conduct of some members of staff of the commission during elections.
“I have observed that there is this wrong public perception about electoral officials conniving with some politicians to manipulate results of elections in the state.
“I have warned all members of staff, especially at the Local Government levels to change their attitude to work as the state INEC under my watch will do everything to uphold the sanctity of elections in this state.
“I will not tolerate any laxity on the part of my staff and anyone found culpable will be punished accordingly,‘’ he said.
Franklnad said he had a lot of integrity to protect, adding that he was not in the state to dance to anybody’s tune but to discharge his duties diligently.
He advised all registered political parties in the state to work hard to win elections rather than waiting to manipulate the process.
“I am not here for anybody. My advice to political parties is that they should work hard, and I promise that anyone who works hard will always win elections.
“Any political party that has done its homework well and deserved to win will win election.
“INEC in Cross River is not going to be partisan. Any INEC staff who misbehaves will be summarily disciplined. Therefore, electorate should not be afraid, I am here for service to our fatherland,‘’ he said.
He said to ensure that all eligible voters in the state were not disenfranchised; INEC had begun the second phase of voter registration at designated centres across the 18 Local Government Areas.
He said that so far over one million voters have been registered in the state and advised members of the public not to panic as the exercise was a continuous one.
Frankland enjoined the media to report the activities of the commission with objectivity and advised them to always reach out to his office for clarifications whenever they are in doubt.