By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Barrister Mutiu Agboke on Tuesday hinted that the Commission is now resolved and determined to conduct, free, fair and credible rescheduled elections.
Barrister Agboke who dropped this hint in Ibadan while addressing stakeholders on the Commission’s preparation for the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections held at the Commission’s headquarters.apologized to Nigerian voters for the rescheduling of the general elections by one week, saying, “it was unavoidable”.
According to the REC, a total of two million, one hundred and seventy six thousands, three hundred and fifty two (2,176,352) Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), have been distributed to prospective voters in the state by the Commission and that a total number of 7,336 functional smart card readers have been received by the commission in the state for the elections.
“I am indeed very pleased to welcome you all to this gathering designed to update the stakeholders in the electoral process on the level of preparedness for the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections. This meeting was equally called to assure the voting public of this commission’s resolve to conduct hitch free elections come Saturday, 23, February, 2019,” he said.
Barrister Agboke added that INEC in Oyo state ,” has already recruited and trained over twenty-eight thousand (28,000) personnel for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. “
“In Oyo state, we have no shortfall at all. We have ballot boxes and ballot papers for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Let me on behalf of this office express and tender unreserved apology to the Nigerian voters for the rescheduling of the general elections by one week. It is unavoidable. “
Debunking the allegations that there were discrepancies in the number of registered voters and the total number of collected and uncollected PVCs in Oyo state, the INEC REC emphasized that there was nothing like discrepancies in the total number of registered voters and the total number of collected and uncollected PVCs.
Stressing that a total number of registered voters in the state stands at 2,934,107. Barrister Agboke pointed out that a total number of 2,176,352 PVCs have been distributed y a total number of 786,294 have not been collected.
“There is no discrepancies in the total number of registered voters in the state. There is no discrepancies in the total number of collected and uncollected PVCs and the total number of registered voters in the state. We have told you the totak number of registered voters and uncollected PVCs. We have 2,934,107 registered voters in the state. We have distributed 2,176,352 PVCs. A total of 786,294 PVCs are uncollected. We don’t have shortfall of ballot boxes and ballot papers in the state. “
Speaking further, the REC said, “ladies and gentlemen, we required a total of 6,390 smart card readers in Oyo state but we have received 7,336 functional and enhanced card readers. Equally, we have recruited and trained 351 registration area technicians one per ward for the purpose of attending to faults that smart card readers may develop in the field.
Oyo state Commissioner of Police, Mr Shina Olukolu in his remarks at the meeting assured that security agencies in the state especially the Police are ready to sustain peace in the state.before, during and after the general elections.
“I can assure you that the peace in the state will be sustained. Meaning that we are on top of the situation. We are ready to provide security to all and sundry. And those who ready to cause trouble, we are ready for them. Prospective voters should just go out on Saturday and perform their constitutional responsibility”.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by the Oyo state commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu, Director of DSS in the state, State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. John Adewoye, representative of GOC of the 2nd Division, Nigerian Army, State Director of NOA Mrs. Dolapo Dosunmu and representatives of political parties in the state.