- INEC Commences Registration In 332 Wards
By Kehinde Ayantunji
Despite the commencement of the continuous voters’ registration in the state of Osun by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties and civil societies have been expressing concern over the alarming rate of abandoned Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).
According to INEC, 413,009 PVCs’ have been abandoned across the 30 local governments, local council development areas and area offices.
Meanwhile, ahead of the September 22 Governorship Election in the state, INEC has urged electorate to register and collect their permanent voters’ cards in the ongoing continuous voters’ registration that commenced last Wednesday April 11 and will end on April 16, 2018.
The National Electoral Commissioner for Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states, Mr Solomon Soyebi at a sensitisation meeting with stakeholders on the continuous voters’ registration in Osogbo, the state Capital, said the first step to a credible election is for the people to collect their PCVs’ having attained the age allowed by law.
The national commissioner noted that politics is a game of number which required citizens to have their voters’ cards in order to vote for candidates of their choice.
Reacting on the abandoned PVC, Osun Coordinator of Democracy Vanguard (DV), Comrade Olowu Emmanuel described the situation as worrisome and disturbing, urging all concerned authorities to double their efforts in the advocacy for the PVC collection.
He attributed poor political awareness from the orientation agencies and political parties to the huge number of abandoned PVCs’, arguing that there was more awareness by the major political parties in 2014 than now.
He said: “The situation is disturbing, comparing the figure with other states with higher population than Osun. If Lagos with 20 million population has less than 650,000 uncollected PVCs, Ogun with 10 million population is having 426,000 uncollected PVCs and Osun with just less than 5 million population is having abandoned 413,000 PVCs despite having election this year, that is not too good.”
“The difference between 2014 and now is that as far back as January 2014, the two major political parties, All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have already known their gubernatorial candidates, it was already settled for Governor Rauf Aregbesola, and those in PDP knew that despite the contest, Senator Iyiola Omisore would have his way but now, both parties are not sure of their candidates not to talk of mobilising for registration exercise five months to the election.”
The State Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Dr Idowu Omidiji while speaking with OSUN DEFENDER also expressed concern over the large volume of the uncollected cards, saying political parties in the state should use the opportunity of the 6 days continous registration and PVC collection exercise to mobilise.
The State APC Director, Media and Research, Bar Kunle Oyatomi in his reaction said the party is mobilising through its structures from the ward to the state level for the collection of the PVC.
Oyatomi said the sensitisation is not only the role of a political parties, religion bodies, civil societies must participate, saying it is an obligation that every individual must value like their life.
“I urge the people of the state to use the present opportunity by going to their ward collation centres to collect the PVC, it is the only instrument they can use to reward the present administration by ensuring continuity and ensure that the monsters of yesteryears are not coming back to power.
Efforts to speak with the PDP state Chairman, Hon Olusoji Adagundo on the party efforts in mobilising for registrations and PVCs’ collection were unsuccessful, as several calls to his line were not picked or returned as at the time of filing this report.