By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
As gubernatorial election draws nearer in Osun State, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC),on Tuesday organised stakeholders meeting with the electorates, non Governmental Organizations and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to rob minds on how to ensure the election is credible.
Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, the General Coordinator of JDPMC, Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi who welcomed Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji at the meeting, charged the government and authorities concerned to make sure that life and property are protected in line with the constitution.
He emphasized the need for all electoral stakeholders to work together towards the successful conduct of Osun 2022 gubernatorial election in the state.
Akinkunmi said there was the need for INEC and other Stakeholders to ensure that the July 16 gubernatorial election in Osun is free, fair and credible.
He however, thanked the Hon REC and his team for allowing the organization to host them.
Speaking, Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji said the commission is fully prepared for the conduct of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Prof Raji said that all the necessary materials for the election has been made available for the commission.
He said. “We are fully prepared for the election. If the election is taking place tomorrow, INEC Osun we are ready. The reason being that, we have received all the necessary materials needed for the election.
“What is left is the sensitive materials which are only made available 48 hours to the election because we don’t want people to go and print their own ballot papers and result sheets.”
Speaking on the participation of INEC during the primaries of political parties, Raji said, the constitutional provision stipulates that the Commission should be part of the process as an observer.
He also disclosed that polling units in Osun State have increased from 3010 to 3763, adding that the electoral body is working on bringing the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) which currently takes place in local government offices and state headquarters to the wards which will give the people the opportunity to complete their registration and get their cards close to their houses.
He stated that about 230,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) are yet to be collected or unclaimed in the state.
“We have over 230,000 PVCs that are yet to be collected and we have sent these PVCs to our local government offices since June, 2021 and that is over six months now.
“Only 397 have been collected since then throughout the state. We don’t know what is responsible and why people are not coming to collect it. We do mention it anytime we have voter education or sensitisation exercise. Yet, people are not coming to collect it.”
He said the CVR exercise would continue till March and that PVCs would be produced and made available to all registered voters four weeks after the registration (which is both online and at INEC office and centres) closes.
He said newly registered voters would be alerted, through SMS and email, when their PVCs are ready.
Professor Raji thereafter implored all stakeholders, media professionals, traditional rulers, political leaders and the public to cooperate with the Commission so as to give desired results.
CityMirror News reports that Osun state Governorship Election according to INEC timetable is billed to take place July 16, 2022.
Though, Osun State is adjudged as one of the peaceful states in the Nigeria not until recent time when pockets of Political violence were recorded.
This political violence in the state can be traced to factional problem among the members of the ruling and the leading opposition parties.
Expectedly, the state government and other security agencies have pledged to be on top of security situation for the July 16 gubernatorial election which they said would be conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.
The security operatives however pledged their determination to secure life and property before, during and after election.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Wale Olokode had through the command Public Relations Officer, Mrs Yemisi Opalola, said the force has no option than to provide a level playing ground for all the participating political parties in the election.
He however assured that the police would deal decisively with whoever is caught indulging in any act or activities capable of causing crisis in the state.
Highlight of the event was the presentation made by the Head of Programmes for Democracy and Good Governance department, Mr Festus Ojewumi, on Background Overview: JDPMC and Elections in Nigeria.
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