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Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman

2023: INEC tasks council chairmen, other stakeholders on PVCs collection

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman

By David Adeoye
Saki (Oyo State), June 2, 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged local government chairmen, leaders of political parties, traditional and religious rulers, to ensure that owners of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collect them before 2023 general elections.

Dr Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, made the plea in Saki, at a forum organised for all stakeholders in Oke-Ogun zone.

Agboke said it has become imperative for stakeholders in the nation’s electoral process to play active roles that would enhance the growth of democracy.

According to him, there is need for the stakeholders, especially local government chairmen, who are closer to the people at the grassroots, to sensitise their people on the importance of PVCs in electoral processes.

He said active participation of every eligible voter during the general elections remains the civic responsibility of everyone, adding, “voting is a weapon that every electorate has to elect good leaders or change bad leaders”.

Agboke assured the electorate that their votes would count in the forthcoming elections.

He said INEC would continue to ensure that no candidate without majority of electorates’ votes wins election.

The electoral commissioner urged political parties and the electorate not to be involved in votes buying and selling.

He warned that the new electoral law has stipulated two years imprisonment and additional fine of N500,000 against anyone caught engaging in votes buying/selling.

The REC, who decried low rate of PVCs collection in the state, said that 754, 704 PVCs still remained uncollected in the state, while owners of 111, 211 PVCs, of the total uncollected, reside in Oke-Ogun zone.

He urged the traditional rulers in the zone to use their respective positions, as fathers of all to prevail on their subjects who were yet to collect the PVCs to do so.

Agboke said this would enable the affected electorate to vote for their favourite candidates during the 2023 general elections.

He also called on leaders of political parties and religions in the zone to sensitise their members and congregations respectively on why they should have voters cards before the next elections.

The electoral commissioner intimated the gathering that INEC had introduced the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) into the electoral process.

According to him, BVAS has replaced the Smart Card Reader and it does three major things on the election day.

“It is for verification of eligible voters, for authentication electronically of voters and loading of individual polling units’ results into the INEC Result Viewing Portal, called IReV.

“The use of BVAS will eventually guarantee the credibility of voters’ accreditation by preventing incidents of multiple voting or use of stolen PVCs to vote and use of incident form is eliminated,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oke-Ogun zone is made up of 10 local government areas namely: Atisbo, Irepodun, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola, Olorunsogo, Oorelope, Saki West and Saki East.

NAN reports that all the chairmen of the 10 local government areas were in attendance during the stakeholders forum.

In their separate remarks, the chairmen promised to intensify efforts towards ensuring that owners of uncollected PVCs come out to collect them from the custody of INEC.

Mr. Sarafadeen Omirinde, Mrs. Ramat Adeniran and Mrs. Julianah Akanni, the Chairmen of Saki West, Saki East and Olorunsogo Local Government areas respectively, also promised to organise the stakeholders’ meeting in their respective council areas to create awareness on the collection of PVCs.

Akanni said that she would make use of town criers in all the communities in Saki East to sensitise the people on the need to collect their PVCs before election time.

Earlier, Agboke paid courtesy visit to the palace of the Saki traditional ruler, Oba Khalid Olabisi, the Okere of Saki, where he solicited the support of the traditional ruler and other community heads on the activities of the commission.

Olabisi assured the REC that he would do everything possible to ensure that the commission succeeds in all its activities in Saki and other neighboring towns.

Other stakeholders that attended the meeting were representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Islamic Organisation, Youths Organisation, Civil Society Organisation, security agencies in Oke Ogun, including Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Immigration Service.

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