Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mutiu Agboke, Thursday lamented that out of the 2,934, 107 registered voters in the state, only 1, 958, 069 have collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), leaving 1, 004, 577 cards uncollected.
He also said the final list of governorship and House of Assembly candidates that will reflect the withdrawal, replacement and substitution of candidates done by the various political parties in the state will be published on January 31.
The REC said this at the inaugural meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), stating that the final list of presidential and National Assembly election candidates will also be made public on January 17.
Agboke called on the owners of the unclaimed PVCs to utilise the available window for collection and visit INEC office in the local government areas and other designated areas.
The REC, who said the commission was ready for the elections, charged the heads of security agencies in the committee to ensure adequate security for all ad hoc staff, INEC offices and election materials as well as provide peaceful atmosphere for voting.
While tasking the security agencies to identify flashpoints and sponsors of electoral violence, he urged them to be committed to “securing the registration centres where corps members recruited to serve as presiding officers and assistant presiding officers will be camped overnight.”
He assured stakeholders that smart card readers, which he said had been upgraded for better performance and efficiency, would be deployed for voter’s verification and authentication during the election.
He promised to engage traditional rulers and religious leaders as part of efforts to step up voter mobilisation and sensitisation.
On his part, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, who co-chairs the committee with the REC, assured the public that the security agencies would deal with any threat that might happen before, during and after the election.
On how big a threat the skirmishes in some parts of Ibadan were to the elections, he said: “I don’t see them as a big threat. They could be some threat, but we are working on them.
“We have mapped out strategies with which we are going to deal with them. The skirmishes that happened can’t directly now be linked with anything political. They are just thugs in the areas.”