Ekiti – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State says 789,318 PVCs have so far been collected by registered voters in the state.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ayobami Salami announced this at an enlarged Stakeholders’ meeting held in Ado Ekiti.
The meeting coming ahead of the coming general elections, said that the number were among
a total of 988,923 registered voters in the state.
He said the collection
figure represented 80 per cent PVCs collection.
According to Salami, 199,605 PVCs are still awaiting collection.
Salami, said that with the 2023 general elections just 16 days away , the meeting had become appropriate and timely.
“Since one of the professional ethics of the commission is transparency, it is imperative to have this type of gathering, where all stakeholders will be briefed on our preparatory activities, while they in return, are expected to offer useful advice and feedbacks to add value to the electoral process.
“Let me reiterate that stakeholders here in Ekiti state have been cooperative, supportive and committed to the course of credible electoral process.
” My special appreciation goes to our royal fathers, for their faith in us as a Commission.
“This stakeholders meeting is unique because the chairmen and secretaries of political parties here present are to sign peace accord.
“The implication of this is that everyone of us here, must do his or her bit to ensure that the forthcoming 2023 general election is peaceful,” INEC REC said.
On the of INEC’s preparations, Salami said that the commission had commenced recruitment and training of election personnel.
“We have in the last few months been saddled with the process of recruitment and training of election officials in including security personnel.
“We have just concluded the State level Election Security Training last Saturday, while the Senatorial District level of the training was concluded yesterday.
“The training of shortlisted Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) shall commence on Saturday, 11th February, 2023.
“The activity will last for two days and the training of our Poll Officials will then commence at the various venues of the 16 Local Government Areas for three days starting on Tuesday, 17th February, and ending on Thursday, 19th February, 2023.”
On logistics and transport arrangement, the REC commended the cooperation of various transport unions such as the NURTW, RETEAN and NARTO as well as their support and understanding in our previous elections.
“Presently, we are firming up our logistics and transport plans. I am happy to inform you that our discussion with these transport unions in the state have been positive with the hope that a contractual agreement will be sealed very soon.
“The Electoral Officers throughout the 16 Local Governments in the state have however been meeting and strategising with these transport union officials in their respective LGAs.
“May I plead with these unions at this juncture, that it is my non-negotiable desire to see that partisan interests are weeded out of those who will be engaged, to move our materials and men during the election, in order to prevent compromises that can ruin the process,” he said.
As part of the preparations, Salami said that the INEC had distributed non sensitive materials to various local government areas.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that all needed non-sensitive election materials have been received in the state, distributed to all the 16 Local Government Areas and batched, not just to the 177 Registration Areas, but also to the 2,445 Polling Units in adequate quantities.
“Materials used to prepare our Registration Area Camps/Super Registration Area Camps (RACs/SRACs) have been reviewed over the past months after the 2022 governorship election.
” In order to make the RACs comfortable for our poll officials, additional materials have been provided for the LGAs to prepare the RACs/SRACs.
“The Electoral Officers will be mobilised in due course to provide water, wire up the buildings and make available some consumables.
“Let me also state here that we have, through the Electoral Officers, been dialoguing with the Heads of the schools and custodians of other public buildings for the release of these buildings on the days.
“However, these RACs/SRACs will be ready for full activation on the Election Day eve,” he said.
He said that INEC was relocating some RACs/SRACs and Collation Centres.
“Some RACs/SRACs were relocated in the last assessment of RACs/SRACs status last year by the Commission. This was done with the knowledge of the concerned stakeholders.
“The reasons for these relocations were mostly due to the insecure locations, inappropriateness of the location (like those located within the precincts of some palaces), inadequate space and deterioration of the buildings,” he said.
The REC said that the commission was also fortifying INEC State and LGA Offices
“In respect of the incessant attacks on the facilities of INEC in some parts of the country, let me use this medium to thank the security agencies in this state for their fortification of our offices throughout the state.
“Series of sensitization programmes have been held for various categories of voters, coupled with consultation with our traditional rulers on the need to have peaceful election; devoid of vote buying and selling.
“On Saturday, 11th February, 2023 there will be strategic engagement with the vulnerable groups such as women groups and the cluster of the hearing impaired, on the need for them to participate actively in the 2023 general elections,” Salami added.
According to him, some voters from congested polling units are also being migrated.
“During the last stakeholders meeting held in December 2022, I briefed this gathering of the intention of the commission to migrate some voters who fall within densely populated polling units with the aim at decongesting such polling units and give room for the sparsely populated ones that are within the same cluster or location to be populated, which shall go a long way to reduce unnecessary queues and time wasting at the polling units by Voters.
” In respect of the above, I am glad to inform this gathering that the commission in this state has concluded the process and the register of the affected polling units have been printed and shall be displayed on Saturday 11th of February 2023 at the affected polling units.
“This is to enable affected voters to be aware of this new development and know where they are to cast their votes on election day. Therefore, let me solicit for your assistance to publicize this information as we shall be on air to also publicize it.
Urging all political parties to sign a peace accord, Salami said “we are all aware that meaningful development cannot take place in an environment devoid of peace.
“Therefore, no credible and reliable election can be conducted in an atmosphere of violence. Hence the need to hold ourselves accountable as stakeholders for peaceful election or otherwise.
“In this regard, I humbly appeal to all political parties and candidates to ensure that the 2023 general election is peaceful in this state. Kindly educate your followers on the need to always allow peace to reign and do not make this election a do or die affair.”
The event was attended by Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon, the Onisan of Isan – Ekiti (Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Obas), political parties’ leaders, religious leaders, members of the Inter- Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, representatives of Civil Society Organisations among others.
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