Oyo LG polls: Electoral Commission shifts election date
By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
The Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has announced a shift in the date for the conduct of local government election in the state.
The election which was earlier scheduled to hold on May 15, has been shifted by a week, to now hold on May 22.
The Chairman, OYSIEC, Mr Isiaka Olagunju, made the announcement, on Wednesday, at the flag-off of a state-wide voter education and mobilisation campaign towards the local government election, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Ibadan.
According to the OYSIEC Chairman, the one week shift became imperative upon the discovery that the Ed-el-Fitr celebration and holidays would be around the previous May 15 date.
Olagunju assured that the OYSIEC would be impartial and declare only ballots cast, noting that the success of the election is dependent on residents coming out enmasse on the Election Day to vote.
Alternative voting documents
The OYSIEC boss list four other acceptable documents apart from the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) that could be presented by voters to cast their ballot, as Temporary Voters Slip, Drivers Licence, National Identity Card and International Passport.
Speaking further, Olagunju said what was imperative was for a person’s name on any of the identification documents to match the name on the Voters Register, which he said would he displayed across the 33 local government election areas from next week.
He said he had instructed security agencies to arrest people whose names are not on the voters register who are present at the polling centres on the day of the election.
The Director, NOA, Oyo State, Moshood Olaleye, urged residents of the state to elect those that are truthful, credible and those that have proven themselves to be close to the grassroots.
He noted that the sensitisation campaign by NOA would be state-wide and charged the stakeholders in the election not to engage in acts that would breach peace and incite violence, appealing to the residents to be involved in the electoral process and come out enmasse on Election Day.
Intimidation of voters
The Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Mr Fagbemi Adegbenro, urged security agencies not to allow intimidation of voters at polling centres on Election Day, noting that the one week shift in the day of election would afford political parties more time for campaign.
Adegbenro said the IPAC had admonished political parties to ensure that no two parties campaign in the same area on the same day, so as to prevent clashes among supporters of political parties.
Representative of the Department of State Services (DSS), Margaret Ayoola, charged traditional rulers and religious leaders to speak to their subjects to shun any form of violence throughout the electoral process.
Representatives of the Oyo State Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and other security agencies, urged residents to come out in large numbers to vote so as to prevent the tendency of unpopular candidates rigging the election.
The security agencies also urged the OYSIEC to keep to its word of allowing the people’s votes to count.