Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II has lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its decision to extend the collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards by eligible Nigerians by one week.
The monarch while lauding the electoral umpire on Friday, also used the occasion to charge Nigerians yet to collect their cards to take the advantage of the extension.
Oba Balogun, in a press statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, by his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola spoke in his palace while hosting the new Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo State, Dr. Rahmon Tella Adeniran.
The monarch said the decision to extend the collection of the PVC by Nigerians of voting age was a welcomed development and in the interest of Nigerians.
He said: “I want to commend you people for the great job you are doing. Whoever witnessed ‘operation wet e’ of the first republic and the horrendous reactions that trailed 1983 general election, especially in this part of the country would appreciate your activities in INEC since 1999 when this experience began.
“It is a known fact that each election since 1999 has always been an improvement over the previous one. I want to charge you to ensure the one being looked forward to in a couple of weeks’ time is also better than what we had in 2019. It is gratifying to note that Nigerians are coming to terms with the ideals of democracy, and it behoves all of us stakeholders to ensure that we contribute into efforts to deepen the system.”
“On our part in the traditional institution, I promise to reach out to all our people, through my members of the Advisory Council, the Mogajis and Baales towards sensitising our people on the importance of the PVC’s collection and usage when the time comes. I implore you too to do your bits and with our combined efforts, Nigeria would surely come out better and greater after the elections”, Olubadan stated.
In his homage, the new Oyo REC said “it is the tradition of the INEC helmsmen to pay homage to the traditional father’s in their respective domains as soon as they are posted. It is keeping the tradition that he has decided to come to the palace. In addition to that, his upbringing as an Osogbo Prince bestows it upon him to understand and appreciate the sacred positions our Obas hold. “
He remarked that the Obas own the towns and the people, which is why they are seen as part of the critical stakeholders in driving the cause of credible electoral process.
Dr. Adeniran used the occasion to enjoin the monarch to help reach out to his subjects in the state on the need to collect their PVCs, noting that “the essence of voter’s registration is defeated if the enabling material to cast votes on elections day (PVC) is allowed to waste away in the custody of the electoral body.
INEC, which had earlier given 22nd of this month as the deadline for the collection of the PVCs in large numbers in its custody, announced a week extension on Thursday, with 29th of this month as the new deadline, less than four weeks to the presidential election slated for 25th February.
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