By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Osun state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has again reitrated Umpire’s commitment towards conducting free,fair and credible elections in the state come Saturday 16th of February.
Speaking at the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist in Osogbo, on Tuesday, Agbaje said the commission is doing everything possible to curtail vote buying.
He also hinted that food vendors would not be allowed to open during voting hours on election days in the state.
This he said become necessary because of the discovery that their shops were mostly used by vote buyers during the last governorship election in the state.
He solicited support of news men and urged them to join in waging war against vote buying by alerting the security on any suspicious move to buy peoples’ votes.
“We discovered that vote buyers used the advantage of food vendors to share money during the last governorship election. We would not allow them to open during voting hours in the coming elections.
He revealed that the commission has distributed 1,266,587 Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, which is 75.38 percent, out of 1,680,498 registered voters in Osun state, remaining 413,606 uncollected PVCs.
Agbaje who also disclosed that the state received 1,680,193 PVCs from the headquarters, stated that uncollected ones would be taken to the central bank.
He said the commission has tried to curtail vote buying in the state, noting that the person that was arrested in connection with the act during the last gubernatorial election, has been taken to the court.
“The media should help us escalate and warn politicians not to distribute money to the electorates. If politicians keep to the rules of the games, INEC is ready to keep to the rules of the games.
On the card reader, Agbaje said the commission has trained its staffs that will handle the card reader and technical experts have been deployed to each local government in case of any malfunction.
He stated that the commission has met all the contestants, about 75, in the state, insisting that INEC’s efforts are being frustrated by politicians who want to win the election at all cost.
He thereby called on politicians to learn from other countries like Ireland where elections are being conducted without security or party agents