The resident Electoral commissioner for Oyo State, Barrister Mutiu Agboke has said that the commission in the state is well prepared for all the elections and they would live no stone unturned to ensure free and fair elections in the state.
He said that so far the commission had met and held retreats with both foreign and local observers and that the commission has always been embarking on periodic voter registration, while other resolutions carried out included simultaneous accreditation and voting procedure, use of enhanced smart card readers, early release of the time table for adequate planning of all the stakeholders electioneering process, setting up of voters education and constant engagement with critical stakeholders in the electioneering process, which is based on two major documents of 2017-2021
He said that the commission has been able to receive a total of 2,962,646 permanent voter cards from 2015 till date and out of this figure, 2116,229 PVCs have been collected leaving a total of 846,417 PVCs left un collected. He pointed out that in Oyo state, there are total of 2,934, 107 registered voters and that since the card readers remains the game changer the commission now has a total of 7,336 smart card readers available out of which6,390 will be required to take care of 6,390 polling units in Oyo State.
The INEC commissioner said that so far he has been going round the state to educate the people on the functions of the commission and what to be done during voting and the voting process and procedure. He pointed out that he had visited schools mosques, had meeting with security agencies, non-governmental agencies, and various relevant government organizations. He also said that he had interactions on the election process with the legislators those in government, the judiciary and officials of Local governments in the state.
Coupled with this the commission he said had meaningful discussions with politicians and their leaders , candidates and other key members in the electioneering process and all these were part of voters education to sensitize the electorate and let them be aware of the readiness of the commission to conduct credible, free and fair election.
He also assure of adequate security during the process of the election, and after saying that he and other security agencies in the state have been meeting from time to time to identify grey areas and flash points to forestall any security threats during the election periods. The commission he further stated had trained both permanent and Adhoc staff and security personnel at both the state and senatorial District levels.
According to the INEC commissioner, there are 42 candidates and parties expected to participate in the Governorship election with 6 of them being females, 17 females as deputy governorship candidates, with Oyo south parading 21 candidates, Oyo central21, while oyo North has18 candidates, making a total of 60 candidates for the three senatorial seats with 7 females contesting for senatorial positions. He further said that in all, there are 26 females contesting out of 202 candidates contesting for the 14 federal constituencies of the State. Regarding the House of Assembly in the State he said that there are 654 candidates with 49 political parties contesting the 32 state constituencies.