Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Segun Agbaje, yesterday presented soft copies of voters’ register to 38 political parties in the September 22 governorship election.
Agbaje said some political parties had approached him to collect the register individually, but he insisted that the copies must be distributed to them at the same time.He added that this was what made the presentation to be done at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osogbo. He urged the political parties to inform the commission about their observations after going through the register.
Agbaje promised the parties of INEC’s neutrality, and advised them to report any of its officers involved in wrongdoing to the national headquarters.He gave the parties details of the efforts INEC had made in compilation of the register to ensure a successful election in the state.
The REC appealed to the representatives of the political parties to inform the electorate about the importance of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) during the election.
He said: “As we speak, majority of the non-sensitive materials that would be used to conduct the election have been received from INEC headquarters, Abuja, and distributed to its offices across the state.
“Furthermore, a total of 1,152,773 PVCs have been collected by their owners, out of 1,668,524 received in the state, leaving a balance of 515,751 as at Aug.17.”He urged the parties to use the period of their campaigns and rallies to ask the electorate to collect their PVCs.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states, Adedeji Shoyebi, explained that the presentation was to enable them verify the voters and identify underage persons and foreigners in the list.He lamented that over 500,000 PVCs were yet to be collected out of the over 1.6 million produced for registered voters in the state.
The implication of that, he said, is that about one-third of voters in the state might not vote during the election. Shoyebi warned that the commission would not tolerate vote buying and violence during the exercise.The national commissioner warned that anyone caught in the act of violence, or inducing voters with money would face the full wrath of the law.He advised the political parties to also sensitise their members, especially the youths, against violence during the election.