…As NOA engages stakeholders in post election sensitisation
By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Mr Mutiu Agboke has vowed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was poised to prosecute electoral offenders caught in the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
He made the declaration on Monday, during his speech at the post election programme to curb post election violence with the aim to promote unity and patriotism, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Oyo State.
While speaking on the theme of the sensitisation programmed tagged: ‘Building A People of Peace’, Agboke vowed that those caught with fictitious PVCs in the last governorship and house of assembly elections in the state would be made to face the music of the law.
“In ensuring that we entrench this free and fair elections, if you did not have PVC, you are not contributing anything.
“Some people were arrested on the election day in Oyo State with fictitious PVCs, not our PVS. They were fictitious PVCs and arrangement is that those that engaged in vote buying will face prosecution,” he stated.
The REC further reiterated the commitment of the commission to organise more credible elections in 2023, better than the one held this year.
“We are promising you, lime we have always said, that free and fair election has come to stay in Nigeria.
“Those who are doubting Thomases, we are reiterating that by next week, we are going back to our cubicle to review our policies on what we have done right or wrongly. 2023 elections shall be better than the 2019 elections,” Agboke maintained.
He equally advised the security agencies to be on the same page with the commission, disclosing that any election that is trailed with disharmony, the security agencies should be questions.
“Our election development will not be in tandem with the international country standards, if the security agencies are not playing their roles according to the rules of their engagement,” the REC added.
Agboke, however, pointed out that one of the causes of unrest, disaster and lack of peace was where there no justice.
“I was saying it before the election that INEC has no political party, INEC has no political interest. The REC has no interest in any politician.”
He disclosed that following the March 9 governorship and house of assembly elections in the state, the commission had received thirty-two petitions in the state, adding that out of the petitions, there was one petition on the governorship election, four on the senate election, twelve petitions on the house of representatives election and fifteen petitions for the state house of assembly election.
“That is how its been done in civilised societies and it is for INEC to come there and state how did we do it? Did we follow the the due process or apply our regulations?”
He equally admonished all political parties in the country to learn how to play the game according to the rules.
Earlier in her address, Oyo State director of NOA, Mrs Dolapo Dosumu emphasised the need for all and sundry to build on the success recorded before, during and after the election for the sustenance of continued reign of peace and harmonious co-existence among the citizens, irrespective of different ethnic or religious inclinations.
She added that the essence of that was to fathom and implement workable strategies for enduring peace and social cohesion in communities, states and the nation at large.
“It is expected that this programme will forestall any possible back lash of post election violence by any misguided person or group and engender co-operation and unity among every members of the society,” Mrs Dolapo stated.
Other stakeholders at the programme emphasised the need for all to collaborate with INEC, NOA and security agencies to build on the successes recorded in the last elections, review and identify the lapses in the exercise.
The event was attended by various stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders, civil society organisations and leaders of the inter-party advisory council in the state.