Against the build-up to September, 22; 2018 governorship poll in Osun, the newly deployed Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, on Thursday assured that the election exercise would be free, fair and credible.
He disclosed that no fewer than 411, 438 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) remain uncollected by individuals, just as he underscored the need for those who failed to approach the electoral umpire for their PVC to do so now without hesitation.
Addressing a press conference at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Osogbo, Osun State capital, Agbaje, who conducted the last year Ondo governorship election affirmed that “as at today, we still have 411, 438 uncollected Permanent Voter Cards in Osun State”, adding that “collection of PVCs is ongoing at the 30 INEC LGA offices in the state.
According to him, by the time we receive the PVCs for the recent Continue Voters’ Registration (CVR), we shall return to the RA/Wards to distribute them to registrants.
Agbaje continued, “we intend to build on the successes already recorded and reach out to all stakeholders through our Voter Education/Enlightenment platforms so as to ensure that we are all on the same page in our collective efforts to attain a successful governorship election in Osun State, not only free, fair and credible but also acceptable to all”.
While commenting on the seeming flouting of regulations on campaigns activities by some politicians, erecting billboards and pasting election posters in public places, the INEC boss hinted that “what I have done in Ondo and Kogi was to hold meetings with leaders of political parties, Commissioner of Police, director of DSS. I would hold such interface with the relevant stakeholders in Osun on the need to adhere strictly to Electoral Acts, as amended so that nobody will heat up the polity”.
“On our own part, we promise to operate an open door policy and ensure the entrenchment of all the core values and standards of INEC zero tolerance for electoral fraud”, Agbaje submitted, explaining that activities of the election include among others “Notice of Election–23rd June, in compliance with Section 30 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 ( as amended), which provides 90 days before the poll”.
“Commencement of campaign by political parties in public 24th June, 2018, in compliance with Section 99 (1) of the Electoral 2010 (as amended) provides 90 days before the polling day. Collection of forms for the election by political parties at the INEC headquarters, Abuja, 25th June, 2018-collection by political parties to be issued to their candidates”.
“Conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries–24th June-23rd July, 2018, which will enable political parties democratically nominate candidates for the election as required by Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Last day for submission of Forms CF001 and CF002 at the INEC headquarters-24th July, 2018 to satisfy Section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 provides for not later than 60 days before the election”.
“Last day for the withdrawal by candidates (s)/replacement of withdrawn candidates (s) by political parties–8th August 2018 in accordance to Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides not later than 45 days to the election”.