Femi Makinde, Osogbo
The Independent National Electoral Commissioner has expressed concern over the huge number of permanent voter cards which have yet to be collected by prospective voters in Osun State since 2015.
The new Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, said this while addressing journalists at the INEC office in Osogbo on Thursday as part of the activities lined up to introduce him to stakeholders in the state.
Agbaje, who was the REC in Osun State in 2014 before he was redeployed to Ondo State, returned to Osun State on Monday, April 23, promising that the commission would conduct a free, fair and transparent election whose result would be acceptable to all parties.
He called on all political parties and politicians in the state to encourage their members and supporters to go and collect their PVC ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state, saying nobody would be allowed to vote without presenting the PVC.
He said while 1,407,235 persons registered as voters in the state in 2015, the commission received 1,406,147 PVC and distributed 994,709 to the registered voters.
The REC stated that the continuous voter registration had stopped in Osun State in order for the commission to print the PVC and give them to those who had registered since the exercise started again.
Agbaje added that the PVC would be distributed to those who were recently captured so that they would be able to participate in the forthcoming governorship poll.
While presenting the election timetable for the governorship poll, Agbaje said INEC would issue a notice of election on June 23 in accordance with the provision of Section 30 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010, which stated that this should be done 90 days to the election date.
According to the timetable, campaign by various political parties would start on June 24 and end on September 20, which would be 24 hours before the polling day; while the conduct of parties’ primaries and resolution of crises that might arise from them would start from June 24 to July 23.
Agbaje said all the card reader machines which the commission would use in Ekiti and Osun states had been upgraded in order to make them efficient, saying the use of card readers had come to stay.
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