The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on 4th April, said the Electoral Act 2022 alone would not guarantee credible polls unless all stakeholders imbibe the spirit of the law.
It also disclosed that over 700,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) remained uncollected in Oyo State.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Mutiu Agboke, stated this in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Ibadan, the state capital.
He, however, said the Electoral Act would be effective if all stakeholders abide by the law, emphasising that unless laws are implemented by the appropriate authorities, they would not curb shenanigans on the election day.
The REC said the INEC had the opportunity to deploy technology to conduct elections, adding that whatever law given to the electoral body is what it has to work with.
Agboke said: “Whatever law given to us is what we must workaround. INEC has a wide opportunity to use or deploy the technology. Technology you know, in all its spheres.
“However, for me, I do not think having a law suffices to stem the tide of all the shenanigans of our stakeholders. When I say stakeholders, I am referring to the politicians and the political parties. When INEC is thinking in the direction of deepening the process of electioneering with credibility, our stakeholders should not come up with the idea of ensuring that the whole thing is thwarted. Thwarting it is to draw us back and if we are drawn back such that we cannot make progress, people will say INEC is not doing anything, whereas stakeholders are supposed to protect us.
“We so far have over 700,000 PVCs uncollected. We still have such numbers because over time, we have been shouting. It has not yielded positive results. We will still continue to talk, engage people and let them know why they have to collect them.”
The REC, however, expressed the readiness of the body to conduct the 2023 polls.