The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mutiu Agboke has expressed the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the state to conduct a free, fair, credible and peaceful election in the 2019 general election commencing in February 16.
Barrister Agboke gave the assurance at a media briefing on the level of preparedness of the commission held at the INEC conference room, Agodi, ibadan on Tuesday
According to him, INEC would not leave any stone unturned at ensuring a peaceful and credible elections in the state.
He said preparations towards the coming election began immediately after the 2015 general elections with retreats involving both local and foreign observers perusing the submitted reports, adding that some of the resolutions included the commencement of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide.
“The commission has always been embarking on periodic voter registration. Other resolution included simultaneous accreditation and voting procedure, use of enhanced Smart Card Readers (SCR), early release of 2019 general election time table for adequate planning of all stake holders, setting up of voter education and constant engagement with critical stakeholders in the electioneering process which is based on two major documents of 2017-2021 strategic plan and strategic programme of action of the commission.”
The commisioner said that the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) which began nation wide on April 27, 2107 as part of pre-election activities was suspended on August 31, 2018 in which 538,704 voters were registered in the state during the excerise. “We have been able to receive a total number of 2,962, 646 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) from 2015 till date . Out of this figure, 2,116,229 PVCs have so far been collected, however, we still have a total number of 864, 417 PVCs left uncollected.”
Agboke who cleared the air over reports that he was under pressure on the election said he has since been engaging various critical stakeholders in the electioneering process , he had also visited the Executive,legislature and Judiciary in the state.
On security, he said the commission is leaving no stone unturned in the area of security of men and electoral materials adding that an Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security chaired by the state commissioner of Police and himself had been meeting regularly to identify grey and flash point in the state in order to collaborate with respective Electoral Officers. “Security is to be beefed up at both the state and local government offices of INEC in order to forestall any security threat during election period”.
Agboke urged the media to be factual and not to be bias in their news reportage in order not to undermine the integrity of INEC and the election exercise.
He made it clear that INEC would prohibit the use of mobile phone with-in the perimeter of the voting cubicle in order to avoid vote buying.