The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo State, Barrister Mutiu Agboke on Tuesday warned politicians in the state not to rely on any official of the commission for their victory in the 2019 general elections.
He gave this warning while addressing an enlarged stakeholders’ election forum entitled: “Towards credible 2019 general elections and civic campaigns”, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) held in Ibadan, the state capital.
At the meeting were gubernatorial candidates of National Interest Party (NIP), Mrs. Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu, Providence Peoples Congress (PPC), Pastor Taiwo Otegbeye and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Mr. Dotun Ayorinde, personal assistant to gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engineer Seyi Makinde, Alhaji Akeem Azeez and Action Democratic Congress (ADC) House of Representatives candidate for Ibadan North West/ Ibadan South West, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun.
Others are: gubernatorial candidates of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, Alliance for Democracy, Engineer Hakeem Oyedele and PDP Chairman in the state, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha.
The REC, who informed that the commission was ready and prepared for credible elections, however warned that politicians should not look for Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to purchase as none is available for sale in the state.
He further said, “INEC Oyo state is ready and prepared for credible process and hitch free elections in 2019. We shall allow a level-playing field to all the political players. No one is above the law. All inter-agency consultative committee on election security members are ready to do their job.”
He warned that “Do not rely on any INEC official for your victory. Do not look for PVC to purchase as none is available to sell. Our smart card readers cannot be pre-loaded. Our PVCs cannot be cloned. I appeal to you all to persuade your followers and loyalists to collect their PVCs. These PVCs and the smart card readers are the game changers. It is principle of one man one vote.
“The youth of Oyo State should shun any act of thuggery and hooliganism. No youth should allow any one to use him as an instrument of electoral violence. Success is ours in Oyo state in 2019. I assure you all that your vote will count in 2019 in Oyo state. I implore you all to allow the peaceful co-existence of all of us to continue notwithstanding our diverse political affiliations”.
Agboke, while speaking further, informed that the commission registered 91 political parties but only 47 of these parties have presence in the state.
“The commission has registered 91 political parties expected to participate in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. There are only 47 political parties having presence in Oyo State. Political parties have great roles to play in educating their members on identification of logo of their respective parties as the commission cannot do this aspect of voter education,” he said.