The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged politicians and other key political stakeholders in the state to abide by the Electoral Act, 2022 in their electioneering activities.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Dr Mutiu Agboke, made the plea on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ meeting on the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and devolution to ward level in Ibadan.
Agboke stated that the Act required the cooperation of all to make the nation’s democracy work.
He said the nation would not make headway, “if stakeholders, particularly the political parties and politicians, work diametrically opposed to the principles of the law”.
According to him, it’s time everyone do the right thing and work together as a team, so as to get the best result in the electioneering activities.
“This will also enable the commission to conduct a credible, hitch-free, fair and inclusive 2023 general elections in the state,” he said.
Updating stakeholders on the activities of the commission, Agboke said that the third quarter of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) had been concluded with the recent display of the preliminary voters register for claims and objections.
According to him, over 172,559 applicants have visited the commission’s website, cvr.inecnigeria.irg, while over 129, 207 registrants have completed their registration.
He said that the fourth quarter, which would be the last in the series ahead of the 2023 general elections, was commencing on April 11 and was expected to end on June 30.
“I want to remind the gathering that the commission has devolved weekly rotational CVR to its 351 wards in the state, following the successful expansion of voter access to polling units.
“The exercise will enable those that just turned 18 years or more or those that have not registered before now, to register.
“It will also allow electorate that have obtained their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), but who want to change their locations, or make corrections on the same if necessary, or replace defaced or damaged PVCs, or collect hitherto unclaimed printed PVCs as the case may be, to do so.”
REC assured all new registrants that their PVCs would be made available for collection, saying the commission was not resting on its oars.
Also speaking at the event, the stakeholders assured the electoral body that they would play their respective roles effectively for the success of the 2023 general elections in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the security agencies, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, pledged to provide adequate security for lives and property before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
Onadeko, represented by Mr Ademola Ajakaiye, urged members of the public to furnish the security operatives with useful information that would enhance success of the elections.
She also admonished politicians to play the game of politics according to the rules.
Mr Dare Ojo, Chairman of the IntraParty Advisory Council (IPAC) in Oyo State, said the council was doing its best to sensitise members on the need to abide by the Electoral Act.
“IPAC has visited all heads of security agencies in the state, soliciting for their supports to ensure violence-free election.
“I use this opportunity to call on all political parties to prevail on their members to register for their PVCs, to enable all eligible Nigerians to perform their civic responsibility, comes 2023,” Ojo said.
Representatives of Christians and Muslim faithful at the event, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju and Hassan Ameen, pledged to intensify awareness and sensitise their congregations on the need to participate actively in the nation’s electoral processes.