The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, charged politicians and other key political stakeholders to abide by the Electoral Act 2022 in their electioneering activities.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Dr Mutiu Agboke, gave the charge during a stakeholders’ meeting on the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and its devolution to ward level, held at the Commission’s state headquarters.
He noted that the Act required the cooperation of all to make the nation’s democracy work, saying the nation would not make headway if stakeholders, particularly political parties and politicians, work diametrically opposed to the principles of the law.
“Let us all do the right thing and work together as a team, so as to get the best result in our electioneering activities. This will also enable the commission to conduct a credible, hitch-free, fair and inclusive 2023 general election in the state.”
Updating the stakeholders on the activities of the commission, Agboke disclosed that the third quarter of the ongoing CVR had been concluded with the recent display of the preliminary voters register for claims and objections, saying over 172,559 applicants had visited the commission’s website, cvr.inecnigeria.irg, while over 129, 207 registrants had completed their registration.
He announced that the fourth quarter, which would be the last in the series ahead of the 2023 general elections, was commencing on April 11 and expected to end on June 30, reminding the gathering that the commission had devolved weekly rotational CVR to its 351 wards in the state, following the successful expansion of voter access to polling units.
“The exercise will enable those that just turned 18 years or more or those that have not registered before now, to register. It will also allow the electorate that have obtained their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), but who want to change their locations, or make corrections on the same if necessary, or replace defaced or damaged PVCs, or collect hitherto unclaimed printed PVCs, as the case may be, to do so.”
The REC assured all new registrants that their PVCs would be made available for collection, saying the commission was not resting on its oars.
In separate remarks, the stakeholders assured the electoral body that they would play their roles effectively for the success of the 2023 general elections in the state.
Speaking on behalf of security agencies, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, pledged to provide adequate security for lives and property before, during, and after the 2023 general elections.
Onadeko, who was represented by Mr Ademola Ajakaiye, urged members of the public to furnish the security operatives with useful information that would enhance the success of the elections and admonished politicians to play the game of politics according to the rules.
The chairman of the IntraParty Advisory Council (IPAC) in Oyo State, Mr Dare Ojo, said the council was doing its best to sensitise members on the need to abide by the Electoral Act.
“IPAC has visited all heads of security agencies in the state, soliciting their support to ensure violence-free elections. I use this opportunity to call on all political parties to prevail on their members to register for their PVCs, to enable all eligible Nigerians to perform their civic responsibility, come 2023.”
Representatives of Christian and Muslim faithful at the event, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju and Hassan Ameen respectively, both pledged to intensify awareness and sensitise their congregations on the need to participate actively in the nation’s electoral processes.