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Ondo 2024: 261,703 PVCs uncollected —INEC

…We’re fully prepared —Parties

By Jubril Bada

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Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Ondo State, no fewer than 261,703 registered voters are yet to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), The Hope has learnt.

The Hope also gathered that the 18 participating political parties in the gubernatorial polls are seriously working in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly on the Monday deadline for the submission of names of candidates and running mates.

This is even as the INEC National Commissioner supervising Ondo, Ogun and Osun States, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, appealed to election stakeholders to mobilize prospective registrants for the upcoming Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ahead of the governorship election in the State.

Prof. Ajayi particularly urged the stakeholders comprising the representatives of media houses, civil society organisations, political parties, security agencies  and People Living with Disabilities on the need to assist the commission in sensitizing prospective registrants to register early, not engage in double registration, and for parents to warn or prevent their wards from engaging in under age registration.

The National Commissioner spoke during the stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Commission in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday.

Ajayi who recalled that the commission announced the plan to resume the CVR as part of its preparations for the election in the state, said the last CVR exercise ended in July 2022, before the 2023 general elections.

The new CVR exercise will commence from Monday May 27 to Wednesday June 5, 2024 from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm daily, including the weekend.

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According to him, ” the Commission believes that within this period, there would have been a lot of young boys and girls who would have grown to the constitutionally approved voting age of 18 years and any other eligible voters who have been unable to register during the previous CVR exercises would be able to take advantage of this CVR to do so”.

He maintained that the registered voters would also have the opportunity to transfer their registration from other States of the federation to Ondo State or from one location to another within the State during the exercise.

The national commissioner further explained that lost or damaged voter cards will be replaced during the period as the CVR will take place simultaneously with the distribution of uncollected PVCs in Ondo State.

“Very importantly, let me emphasize that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration. Persons who have earlier registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal and would lead to the outright cancellation of the new registration.

“The commission is indeed cognisant of the limited time to the governorship election, consequently, it has decided to conduct the registration at all the 203 Ward level registration centers and the Ondo State INEC Head Office.

“There will be no online pre- registration option in this CVR due to time constraints. Each center wil lbe managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

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“The Commission, through The Electoral Institute (TEI) shall commence training soon, for all the personnel that would be used for this CVR exercise,” he stated.

He reiterated that the Commission was keen on enhancing its Inclusive Election Management capacity at all levels.

Earlier, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Babalola explained that out of 1,991,344 registered voters, a total of 1,729,641 have collected their PVCs in the state.

With the figure, no fewer than 261,703 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) remained uncollected.

 Babalola said all the 210 centres that will be opened for the CVR exercise have been identified, listed, and published on the INEC website.www.inecnigeria.org.

In his remarks, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Prince Leke Adegbite who was represented by the State Treasurer of the union, Alhaja Fatima Muraina, charged the electoral umpire on the need to lias  with the union for better partnership ahead of the election.

Speaking, the State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Mr.Olaoluwa Adesanya, assured the support of the members of the council for successful conduct of the forthcoming election.

Meanwhile, the political parties have expressed their readiness to work within the guidelines as issued by INEC for the successful conduct of the polls, saying they seriously preparing ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial election.

In separate interviews with The Hope, the parties particularly promised to meet the Monday deadline for the submission of list of governorship candidate and the running mates to the INEC.

The Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Mr. Alex Kalejaye, said the party has no problem submitting names of candidate and running mate.

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“We have conducted a primary election where a candidate emerged. We are merely trying to put our house in order, ahead of November,” he said.

The State Chairman, Social Democratic Party, SDP, Dr.Tope Ajulo, disclosed that the party is done with the submission of names of its governorship candidate and running mate to INEC portal.

“We are done with that. We are already in another stage. We are fully prepared, and will do everything within our power to sensitize the public on the need to register or transfer their voters card to a nearby polling unit,” he explained.

Also, the State Chairman of African Action Congress (AAC), Comrade Olugbenga Arinkoluwa, stressed that the party is seriously working to meet up with the Monday deadline issued by the INEC for the submission of candidate and the running mate.

On his part, the State Chairman of Zenith Labour Party, Comrade Cornelius Akintoye, affirmed that the party has submitted the names of its governorship candidate and his running mate to the Commission’s portal as the first party to comply.

He added that the party has been following the guidelines of the INEC as regard the election.

Eighteen political parties are participating in the governorship poll.

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