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With Over 200,000 Uncollected PVCs, INEC Chairman Calls On Ondo Voters To Act

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (3rd left), National Commissioner supervising Ondo State, Prof. Kunle Ajayi (2nd left), National Commissioner, Mr. Ken Ukeagu (4th left), Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ondo State, Mrs Toyin Babalola Esq., and the State's Commissioner of Police, Mr Ayobami Oladipo during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting, held at the INEC State Headquarters, Alagbaka, Ondo State on Monday 3rd June 2024. PHOTO: TAIWO MAKANJUOLA

3rd June 2024

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has encouraged Ondo State residents to endeavour to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) and vote on election day in the same manner they are currently trooping out to register as voters.

The Commission assured that their votes would be protected since the responsibility of deciding  who becomes the next governor of the state on 16th November 2024 lies with them. 

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance in Akure the Ondo state capital during a meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), held at the Commission’s State office on Monday 3rd June, 2024. 

Prof. Yakubu expressed concern that over 200,000 PVCs from the previous registration exercise were yet to be collected, urging their owners to take advantage of the current CVR exercise pick them up. 

He said: “I want to encourage registered voters in Ondo State to continue to troop out in their numbers to register, and come out and collect their PVCs in the current registration exercise. But we also have over 200,000 uncollected PVCs from the last exercise. So, we encourage people to come and collect their PVCs so they can cast their votes for whoever they wish to vote for on election day.” 

He reiterated the Commission’s neutrality and determination to protect the sanctity of the ballot. “Let me say what I have consistently said, that INEC is not a political party,” he affirmed. “We don’t have a candidate for the Ondo governorship election. The choice of who becomes the next governor in Ondo state is entirely in the hands of voters. We will protect their choices, and the integrity of the process.” 

The INEC Chairman explained that the purpose of the visit was to observe the CVR exercise, its progress, challenges and to assess ongoing preparations for the November governorship election. He stated that INEC does not only conduct elections, but also undertakes electoral activities. He described the  CVR an an electoral activity, while the election proper would be conducted in November.

Underscoring the need for a secured electoral process, Prof. Yakubu said the Commission cannot succeed in delivering electoral activities and elections, unless the electoral environment was safe.

“That is why in ICCES, we not only have the traditional security agencies,” he said, “we also have the intelligence, law enforcement and emergency services. We equally have other members of ICCES such as the NYSC, NOA and others.”

On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Ondo state, Mr. Abayomi Oladipo, attributed the success achieved in securing the electoral space to the synergy between INEC and the security agencies.  

He said, “at the moment, we don’t seem to have challenges relating to elections, apart from the crimes that are being committed in the various Senatorial districts. On the side of the police, we realise that we cannot do it alone and that is why we have the support of every security agency and members of ICCES in the state. We move together as a team and will tackle the budding election crisis.”  

He added: “We are equal to the task. We assure you that on our part, we will discharge our duties to ensure that the people, the staff of INEC and the materials are protected.” 

In her welcome remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ondo state, Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola Esq, said the INEC Chairman’s visit presented a unique opportunity to interact directly, discuss pressing issues, challenges and highlight the state of preparedness for the November governorship election. 

She commended the security agencies for their sustained support, while disclosing that all the CVR designated centres in Ondo state are well manned by security agents, adding that so far, no negative reports have emanated from the ongoing CVR exercise.  

The INEC Chairman and his entourage visited some CVR centres in the state office, Akure North Local Government and Akure South Local Government Area to observe the process. 

Prof Yakubu was accompnaied by National Commissioner supervising Ondo State, Prof. Kunle Ajayi;  National Commissioner Kenneth Ukeagu; Chief Technical Adviser and Chief Press Secretary to the Hon. INEC Chairman, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, and Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi. 

Others were: Director, Voter Registry, Mr. Tunde Gafar, and Acting Director, ICT, Dr. Lawrence Bayode.