Osun election: INEC registers 1.9m voters, promises hitchfree poll


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Thursday that it registered 1,955,657 voters for the July 16 Osun governorship poll.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, disclosed this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Dialogue (NCSSRD) on Osun Governorship and Review of the Ekiti Governorship Election 2022.
Raji said that the current number of registered voters was higher than the 2019 figure of 1.6 million.
He said that the commission also distributed 1,443,969 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

He said that 511,688 PVCs were yet to be collected by their owners.
He said that the distribution was still in progress and that preparations for the poll were in top gear.
He expressed the hope that the election would be hitchfree, given the lessons so far learnt from the recent polls in other states.

“We started with the review of the 2018 elections, looking at the gains, loses, mistakes and we learnt lessons from them.
“Where we did well, we leveraged that to move on.
“We also previewed the 2022 governorship election and the 2023 elections to see areas we need to improve on.
“In Osun, we had 3,010 polling units during the 2018 and 2019 elections.
“With the conversion of the voting points, we had an additional 753 polling units.

“This gave us the 3,763 polling units we now have in the state,’’ Raji said.
He also said that the commission conducted an exercise that helped to identify security flash points based on the review of the 2018 election.

He said that the commission had also marked the difficult terrain of the state and worked out the logistics.
The REC said the welfare of the ad hoc staff and security agencies had been provided.
He said that security personnel with complaints on their payment could reach the commission via a certain contact.
Raji said that INEC did not store sensitive materials in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the Ekiti governorship election.

He said that the reason was because the commission had already secured a safe place to store them for the election.
The Convener, NCSSRD, Ene Obi said that it was worrisome that the current leadership of the CBN could no longer guarantee the security of sensitive materials for elections.
Obi blamed the development on the suspected partisanship of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who is a member of the ruling-All Progressives Congress.
He said: “We are informing President Muhammadu Buhari that our CBN is no longer safe to keep sensitive election materials.

“On a final note, I want to say that the situation room is aware that the tenure of most INEC RECs will lapse in a matter of days.
“We, therefore, call on the president to nominate individuals of impeccable character and not card carrying members of political parties for the sake of transparency and accountability.”
Obi further urged Buhari to nominate credible Nigerians who would stand upright for the country to move forward.
She said that the aim of the dialogue was to get an update from INEC on the Osun election and review the just concluded Ekiti governorship election.

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