By Olusola Alatise
373,780 Permanent Voters Cards are yet to be collected in all the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State just as the Independent National Electoral Commission has created six additional registration centres in the state for the ongoing continuous Voters exercise.
New Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC Ondo State, Barr Mutiu Agboke declared this when he led the management of INEC, Ondo State on a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Union Of Journalists, (NUJ) Ondo State Council at the NUJ Press Center.
The REC said the situation had become worrisome and urged the media to help INEC sensitize the public on the importance of PVCs in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the state
He said the electoral body has to make the ongoing Voters’ registration a continuous exercise to take its normal standard rather than embarking on it anytime election is around the corner.
The REC who declared that the mandate of INEC transcend conducting election alone listed other major statutory duties of INEC to include: registration and monitoring of political parties, continuous voter registration and monitoring the finance of political parties among others.
“The mandate of INEC transcend conducting election. Our mandate include registration and monitoring of political parties, monitoring their finances, how they get funds and their disbursement and continuous registration exercise, beyond election, INEC do more,” The INEC REC has said.
He said 20, 911 registrants have been recorded in the ongoing CVR, 2,965 inter and intra state transfer have been recorded, 1,919 whose cards have defaced recorded with 1, 352 who lost their cards have been recorded
Agboke who charged people to disabuse their minds from what they called power of incumbency during the forthcoming general election said prosecution is ongoing on the 21 people arrested during the last gubernatorial election in Ondo State for electoral offences
He expressed the readiness of INEC to pursue to a logical conclusion the prosecution of 21 electoral offenders in the 2016 governorship election in Ondo State expressing optimism that appropriate judgment would be passed on them.
He assured that the electoral umpire will continue to do its best to ensure that votes of the electorates count in any election
On grant to political party candidate by INEC, Agboke said INEC has not been given a dime to any political party candidate in the recent times.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ondo NUJ, Mr. James Sowole assured INEC of adequate support of the Union.
He appealed to the commission to report fake and quack journalists to the Union for appropriate sanction.