• Expresses fear over security during election
• Says over 700,000 PVCs remain unclaimed in Oyo
• Denies Ekiti governorship poll heavily monetised
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, said the 2023 polls might not be easy if the shenanigans of some actors in the electoral process are not curbed.
It said that if vote-buying still continues and thugs are involved, it would not be easy for the commission. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, stated this at a one-day sensitisation seminar organised by Ibadan Anglican Diocesan Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Rural and Urban Stewardship Initiative for Sustainable Development (RUSISD) at Saint Anne’s Church, Molete, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Agboke, who decried vote-buying and other unwholesome attitude during elections, said: “Once we still have vote-buying, it will not be easy for the commission and the security operatives. When vote-buyers and thugs are involved, it will not be easy. We need to make efforts to make the process free of vote-buying. Voter education is very key.”He also reiterated the commitment of the electoral umpire to keep improving the electoral space.
The REC, who urged the electorate to use their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to elect the right leaders in the forthcoming general elections, said that INEC would continue to maintain its independence without pandering to any incumbent.
He disclosed that over 700,000 PVCs remain uncollected in Oyo State. He said it was wrong to say that the Ekiti State governorship election was heavily monetised.
saying: “It is not correct to say that the Ekiti State governorship polls was heavily monetised. I was in two local councils during the election and my colleagues in other councils said there was nothing like that. Perhaps, only in Ado-Ekiti and surrounding areas there might be such but in most local councils of the state, there was no vote-buying.”
Also speaking, the National Co-ordinator, Civil Society Coalition for Sustainable Development (CSCSD), Dr. Tola Winjobi, urged Nigerians to get their PVCs and vote the right candidates and leaders that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, saying: “I encourage you to be part of the process.”