By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The newly deployed Osun state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC in Osun state, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola on Friday, 16th January, 2015 said the use of Smart Card Readers for the next month general elections would ensure credibility.
Addressing a press conference at the conference hall of the state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osogbo, Ogunmola said the umpire was poised for a free, fair, and credible elections in the state just as it recorded success in the conduct of the last year’s governorship poll in the state.
While disclosing that the commission had extended the distribution of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) till end of January, the state INEC boss said collection of PVCs had been extended from local government areas to ward level.
He added that collection of PVCs would end at 5:30pm from Monday to Saturday as against the 4:00pm closure stressing that it was necessary that the PVCs got to their owners before the general elections.
He said: “We are poised for a better delivery of our services; Accreditation will be done with the use of Smart Card Readers and we have 2, 133 card readers in our store, we are expecting the rest. With this (card readers), we will be able to start training our staff.”
The REC said the smart card readers would confirm the authentic owners of voter cards saying that the commission would ensure that voters were adequately enlightened on how to vote.
Ogunmola said: “We are embarking on a robust voters sensitisation programme. We have visited the palaces of Ooni of Ife, Akirun of Ikirun, Akire of Ikire, Olufi of Gbongan among other traditional rulers. We will organise workshop for physically challenged people and market women.
“We are now in the custody of 3, 960 plastic ballot boxes for the general elections. That is not to say that its the entire figures that will be used.”
Ogunmola, who was transferred to Osun from Lagos State and resumed duty on 5th January said: “we received the total of 1,406,147 PVCs and as at Friday, 9th January, 2015 we have distributed 993,459, representing 65 percent of the total PVCs.
According to the REC, “the remaining PVCs are 412,688), representing 29.35 percent.”
He said that 5,000 applicants have applied in the INEC’s ad-hoc recruitment exercise for Osun state elections saying that the applicants would soon be screened.
Ogunmola disclosed that there are 30 senatorial candidates in Osun state for the senatorial election while the House of Representatives candidates are 68 in the state.
While he advised party leaders and candidates to caution their followers to eschew politics with bitterness, Ogunmola also charged candidates to avoid inciting comments during their campaign rallies.
Ogunmola also urged the media to partner with INEC and should not heat up the polity with their reports saying this will go a long way in creating a peaceful environment needed for the conduct of a free, fair, credible and acceptable presidential, National and State Assemblies elections in Osun state.