Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, has commended the political parties in the state for conducting a violence-free primary elections ahead of the gubernatorial poll on September 22.
All the political parties in the state have conducted their primaries and elected their flag bearers in readiness for the election.
Agbaje gave the commendation, in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend, when the Hope for Family Health Initiative (HFHI), a non-governmental organisation working against violence against women paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He said that despite complaints by some aggrieved members of the parties, the party members and leaders demonstrated some measure of maturity, discipline and sense of responsibility during the poll and made it very peaceful.
Agbaje, however, assured of the commission’s readiness to conduct a free, fair and credible election in September.
He disclosed that the commission had already taken delivery of 95 per cent of the permanent voters cards for the poll.
He also disclosed that out of the 15,000 ad-hoc staff needed for the exercise, over 13,000 of them had been procured out of which 8,000 are NYSC members, while over 5,000 are from other Federal Government psrastatals such as the staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, The Federal Polytechnic Ede among others.
While lamenting voters apathy in Nigeria, Agbaje recommended simultaneous accreditation and voting as well as security measures to encourage voters to participate fully in the exercise.
He called on the electorates that had not collected their PVCs to do so, stressing that it was the only machinery they had to elect their preferred candidate.
Earlier, the Executive Director of Hope for Family Health Initiative, Mr. Stephen Akinyemi Aremu had expressed the NGO’s poise to collaborate with INEC with a view to ensuring a violence-free election.
The leader of Women Electoral Committee, Mrs Hannah Akinlabi, urged women in the state to resist all forms of intimidation and harassment and ensure they come out en mass and vote for their preferred candidate during the election in September.
Akinlabi called on the commission to sensitise the women on the need to participate in the election.
She said it was the duty of the commission to educate electorates on what constitutes Violence Against Women in Election (VAWIE).
“The projects objectives are to track incidences of electoral violence against women in the 2018 gubernatorial election and to make deferrals where appropriate, for further action by the police and legal service organizations,” Akanbi said.
She mentioned Iwo, Ayadaade, Ife East, Ife South, Olaoluwa, Odo-Otin Ifedayo, Ejigbo, Egbedore, Irewole, Ife Central, Ilesa East, Atakunmosa East and Olorunda as the Local Government Areas where women needed to be sensitised during the governorship poll.
She also called on women that had yet to collect their PVCs to do so to be able to exercise their franchise during the poll.