In a bid to enhance and promote voters education and awareness towards the forthcoming 2019 general elections, the Oyo state Independent Electoral Commission INEC in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency NOA on Tuesday invited all stakeholders in the electoral process to an Enlarged Stakeholders Election Summit.
The summit which was tagged Towards credible 2019 General Election and Civil Campaign, was held at the Bashorun Hall of the Civic Centre located at Idi Ape in Ibadan, had in attendance INEC Officials led by the Oyo state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr Mutiu Agboke, his counterpart at the National Orientation Agency, the State Director Mrs Dolapo Dosumu, the Nigeria Police Force, Oyo state led by the Commisioner of Police Mr Abodun Odude, NSCDC officials, Customs and other security apparatus in the state. Also present were the various political parties in the state and candidates and representatives for different political positions in the state as well as members of the public.
The event was also aimed at sensitizing the populace about the menace and problems of vote buying, before and during the elections. The stakeholders were also prepared towards guarding against fake news that could truncate the credibility of the electioneering process.
The special guest at the event Chief Lekan Alabi advised the electorate as well as the politicians to conduct themselves appropriately and avoid inciting violence in the polity. He also admonished the people to vote in leaders that would enhance their living conditions and not sell their votes for peanuts so as to fast track the growth and development of the state.
Also, Alh. Waheed Oyewole bemoans the poverty of ideas that is common among political leaders and advised the people to vote based on who they think has ideas that can transform their lives.
The Commissioner of police in the state Mr Abiodun Odude, emphasized the readiness of the Police force and other security apparatus in the state towards enabling a free, fair and credible elections while promising to uphold the dictates of the law before during and after the coming general elections.
The Independent national electoral commission, through its admin secretary, Mr Daniel Asemo seized the occasion of the event to enlighten the electorate about the electoral process. He admonished politicians to make their campaign issues based while warning that state apparatus should not be used to against the oppositions as equal opportunity especially in the media should be allowed. Furthermore the electorates were charged to take good care of their voter’s card and avoid defacing it especially its ‘Antenna’, so that the card readers would readily identify them during the elections.
The Gubernatorial candidates of the various political parties were given the platform to air their views and questions on the forthcoming electioneering process which begins on the 18th of November. They all expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the Summit so organized. Mr Taiwo Otegbeye of the Providence Peoples’ Congress (PPC) sought clarification on the alleged new 5620 polling point created by INEC and charged the Police force to help check the case of vote buying during elections.
Responding to the various questions, especially the issue of the over 5000 voting points, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr Mutiu Agboke debunked the existence of such polling points as Fake news and nonexistent. He thereafter clarified that what the polling points were ‘an extension’ of the polling units. According to him, each polling unit can only accommodate a total of 750 people. The polling points were therefore created to accommodate the excess number of persons in each polling units so as not to disenfranchise the electorate during elections.
He also admonished the people to stay positive about the forthcoming electoral process and stop insinuating and imagining non-existent scenarios, promising that the forthcoming elections will be far better than what has been in the past.
Other gubernatorial candidates who attended the summit are Abiodun Bamgboye of Socialist Party of Nigeria, Ojo Olayinka Kayode National Interest Party, Olatunji Sodiq Atayese of Labour party, Senator Monsurat Sumonu representing Oyo Central,