It was praise galore for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded Calabar Carnival, which ended on a high note.
The commission was extolled by other participants and spectators for initiating Voter Education (VE) into the carnival amidst the dancing and loud blaring music.
The Commission, through INEC Cross River State, was fully represented in the yearly global tourism calendar event, which kicked off on December 11, with the Dry run, to series of events, culminating in the December 28, carnival procession through the streets of Calabar.
Adjudicators, are stationed at strategic points in the entire carnival routes to assess each carnival floats, based on set criteria, with the winning carnival band awarded a handsome financial reward by the organisers, under the auspices of the Calabar Carnival Commission.
Though, a non competing band, INEC Participation, a first in the history of the carnival or any other in Nigeria, drew commendations from participants, particularly, regular visitors to the carnival since its inception 16 years ago.
Watching INEC floats, (a low bed trailer decorated to look like a moving music stage) inch its way from the take off point of the 12 kilometres route allocated to it, distributing handbills and assisting people to install My INEC App on their Android phones and the introduction of VE.
Speaking on the Commission’s participation, Administrative Secretary, INEC Cross River State, Henry Ayomanor, who led the float, noted that, the “Commission’s involvement in the carnival is a reflection of a paradigm shift from periodic Voter Education to Continuous Voter Education, taking advantage of location specific events to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholder in the Electoral Process.
The Head of Department, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Organization Liaison(VEP), Bukoka Ojeme noted that, “the Independent National Electoral Commission, recognises the Calabar Carnival as an important global tourism calendar event, and a fora, for engaging significant segment of Nigerians of voting age accros all demographic strata of our population, including Women and Youth groups, Community Based/Cultural Organisations, People Living with Disabilities (PWDs), active social network users,political party leaders, Influencers, among others.