Oyo State REC solicits assistance of Traditional Rulers on PVC collection 

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State has solicited the assistance of traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in the polity to sensitise voters to come forward and retrieve the over 700,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) awaiting collection at the state office of the Commission.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Barr. Mutiu Agboke made the call on Wednesday when he led the top management team of the Commission to the Alarere residence of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, on a visit to the monarch.

Using the occasion to present the Olubadan with the ‘Online Voter Registration Steps’ poster, the REC said the uncollected PVCs were enough to make someone the state governor. They noted the total number of votes by the two governorship candidates that scored the highest votes in the 2019 governorship election was not up to 700,000 votes.

He disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to rejoice with Oba Balogun for ascending the throne of his forefathers and solicit his assistance and cooperation as a respected voice in the community on the need for residents active participation in electoral activities.

The REC also urged the monarch to help appeal to the various political parties to play the game according to engagement rules. However, INEC is doing everything possible to ensure hitch-free elections; the political parties need to cooperate by adhering to the rules.

Agboke said: “When the law says no to vote-buying, it is not INEC that goes about with money at the polling centers; the political parties are the ones.

“We started preparations for the next elections immediately after the 2019 elections. The results of our preparations manifested in the successful conduct of elections in Edo, Kogi, Bayelsa, and Anambra states.

“In addition, we had other bye-elections that were successfully conducted, and we are out again to ensure that the 2023 elections are without hitches. But, we can only achieve this with all the stakeholders’ stakeholders’ support and cooperation, which formed part of our visit here, Kabiyesi,” the REC stated.

He also told Oba Balogun that the Commission would begin the fourth phase of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on Monday, April 11, 2022. He asked the monarch to help appeal to the residents to take advantage of the exercise by participating in it.

The Olubadan, who, in his response, assured the REC of the Palace’s support for the Commission’s programs, urged for enough sensitisation of the general populace, asking the Commission to be conscious of the political awareness level of the residents.

The monarch equally appealed to both politicians and the electorate to work towards making Nigeria great by following the political rule, saying there is nothing special about advanced societies that makes them better than blacks except that they do things right.

“Let’s fully participate in all the pre-electoral activities and vote peacefully during elections. Let us collaborate with ourselves, and since INEC is ready, we should be ready as citizens. I appeal to all to let’s see to the greatness of this country by doing things rightly,” the Olubadan added.

 

E/Suzan O.

 

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