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By Adeolu Adeyemo – Osogbo
FEW days to the conduct of the Presidential and House of Assembly elections in Osun state, the resident electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Mutiu Agboke gave figures of registered voters and Permanent Voters Card collected in the state.
The INEC boss in the state said 1,954,500 were registered voters while the total number of PVC collected was 1,534,948 and the total number of uncollected PVC was 3,911,41.
The Resident Commissioner, Osun state, DR. Mutiu Agboke however stressed that, the electoral body was at the peak of activities and preparations for the conduct of free, fair and credible election for 2023 presidential elections.
Agboke made these known at the INEC stakeholders meeting organized to solicit cooperation on voters sensitization for the conduct of the 2023 presidential, 3 Senatorial constituencies, 9 Federal Constituency and 26 State House of Assembly election in the state in Osogbo.
The meeting was attended by Heads of Security agencies, Religious Leaders, Political Parties representatives, CSOs among others.
Agboke affirmed that, the commission is adequately prepared as the recruitment and Training of Ad-hoc Staff,were carried out, from INEC traditional sources of NYSC, Federal Tertiary Institution and Federal Establishment workers in the State and said, it has been duly concluded for the election.
He said that, the staff comprises of 376 SPOs, 15,052 Presiding Officers/APOs, 746 Collation and Returning Officers at the State/Federal Constituency levels and Senatorial Districts had been made ready for the exercise.
The electoral body boss who charged citizens of the state to desist from the act of votes buying and selling of PVC, threatened to make whosoever found in the act face the wrath of law.
According to him “The Commission is working assiduously to put adequate preparation in place for the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.
“Recruitment and Training of Ad-hoc Staff, were taken from INEC traditional sources of NYSC, Federal Tertiary Institution and Federal Establishment workers in the State.
“Furthermore, the Commission will carry out other key activities that are strategic to the Conduct of the 2023 General Elections such as Collection of sensitive materials during the week and movement of same to the LGAs in the presence of Party Agents from the CBN Osogbo.
“Tracking of movement of sensitive materials during the election ,
More comprehensive and targeted voter education in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to engender more inclusive participation in the 2023 General Election.
Agboke also said that, the commission has successfully redistributed voters from congested polling units to new polling units for the peaceful conduction of the election
“We also briefed you on our effort to redistribute voters to the polling units to avoid the congestion that made voting cumbersome in many of the polling units. This is the distribution of voters to new polling units in proximate locations. The registers in this regard have been pasted in the affected polling units.
“The Commission is finalizing the issuance of Identification tags for the polling Agents and Collation Agents nominated by the 18 Political Parties.
“I urge the Chairmen and leaders of Political Parties to ensure that only agents accredited by the Commission wearing the correct Identification tags appear at Polling Units and Collation Centres during Election. A situation where two or more agent claim to represent a political party resulting in commotion at polling units or collation centers would not be allowed. Only identification tags issued by the commission will be recognized.
“Every Nigeria with a valid voter’s card is eligible to vote in an Election. However, he/she must do so by the relevant rules guiding the electoral process. Whoever runs contrary to these rules is liable on conviction to imprisonment or fine and it could be both. Vote trading i.e buying and selling should be avoided. Do not collect any PVC that is not yours to vote. Anyone arrested shall go to jail.
“The security agencies with all sense of patriotism, courage, and non-partisanship must professionally rise to the occasion and ensure that everything legally possible is done to support peaceful elections.
Also speaking Osun state commissioner of police, Kehinde Lounge urged the people of the state to abstain from any unlawful act in the forthcoming election.
“Those who are campaigning and inciting violence there is a day for you that you will meet the law. He said.
Meanwhile, the police public relations officer in the state, Mrs. Yemisi Opalola In a statement earlier issued few weeks ago said, the Command is constrained to draw the attention of all political party leaders, candidates and their supporters to the ongoing trend by some unscrupulous elements to disturb the peace of the state by pasting posters of political opponents on already pasted ones.
She said “this action has been causing restiveness and may lead to a breach of peace if not discontinued by the concerned.”
“The Command therefore, advise parents and guardians to caution their wards who are hired for the purpose of pasting posters to ensure they do not act in a manner that will lead to a breakdown of the peace already existing in the state, the command is urging the youths to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used as tools for nefarious activities. ”
“Finally, the command reiterates that no act of thuggery, hooliganism will be tolerated”, the police spokesperson stressed.