The need for the electorate to collect their permanent voter’s card as well as advocacy against vote buying took the centre stage at a special Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Stakeholders forum at Eruwa, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
Oyo State with about 790,000 uncollected PVCs is currently placed second after Lagos state, while Ibarapa Zone, which is one of the six geographical Zones in Oyo State, has about 30,000 PVCs yet to be collected.
At the special Stakeholders’ Forum in Eruwa, the Resident Electoral Commission of INEC, Oyo State, Mr. Mutiu Agboke appealed to community leaders, grassroots politicians and traditional rulers to sensitize the people more on the need to collect their Permanent Voters Card, before next year’s election as it was the only weapon they could use to elect credible leaders.
Mr. Agboke equally called on traditional rulers to complement INEC’s efforts at sensitizing the electorate against vote-buying, pointing out that the act violated electoral laws.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of Oyo State, while urging the electorate to shun electoral violence, noted that INEC would not count the votes of polling booths where violence occurs during next year’s election.
He implored all stakeholders to synergize with INEC, towards delivering free, fair and credible election.
The Oyo State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mrs. Dolapo Dosunmu stressed the need for Nigeria to shun campaigns of calumny and embrace issues as INEC would soon lift ban on campaigns.
Mrs. Dosunmu, equally appealed to women to participate actively in politics, adding that NOA had lined up programmes on voter education.
Some participants at the stakeholders’ forum, including security operatives and politicians expressed readiness to work with INEC on peaceful conduct of next year’s polls.
The theme of the forum was “INEC, Consolidating our Democracy, your PVC, your Voice, Speak with your PVC, Don’t Fight”.