Akpan Umoh, Uyo
Mr Onofiok Luke has said that the 2023 general election was more credible and violence free than the previous elections in the country.
Luke, who is a member representing Etinan federal constituency in the National Assembly said this on Saturday while interacting with newsmen on the conduct of the election in his country home in Nsit Ubium in Akwa Ibom.
He said that the amendment of the Electoral Act 2022 really paid off as it reduced electoral violence during the 2023 general elections.
“I want to say, that I am very excited, that I have seen this day in my country. Yes, we are not where we wanted to be in this 2023 general elections visa vis the amendment, we made in the Electoral Act 2022.
“We are not where we wanted to be but we are not where we were in the 2019 elections. So, I want to say that there is a remarkable improvement in the process compared with what was obtained in the 2019 general elections.
“Then, I have a few indices that I based these assessments on. You would agree with me comparatively there is peace as compared to the previous elections
“When I say peace, there is a high-level reduction in violence in these elections, unlike before where you will see burning of cars, snatching of ballot boxes, in this particular election we have not heard of it.
“With the amendment of the electoral act, all those violence and snatching of ballot boxes will be in futility, because if you do it the whole exercise will be in futility,” Luke said.
Luke added that the process was credible because of the introduction of technology into the voting process.
He commended the Federal Government and the National Assembly for the introduction that has brought sanity into the electoral process.
“The other one is in the credibility of the process because of the introduction of technology in the issue of accreditation where BVAS is used,” he said.
The former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom House Assembly said the process has shown that power in this election has been returned to the people.
He noted that those elected in this election and those that will be appointed will be accountable to the people.
“The process is going to lead all those elected to always go back to the electorate, not only when they want to contest elections.
“The generality of it is, the outcome of this process with what I have witnessed in my unit, I am well impressed. The only thing I am not impressed with is voter turnout.
The lawmaker said that there was a need for much voters education in the country before elections to reduce apathy.