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Oyo: INEC to release final lists of candidates Jan. 31

The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Mr. Mutiu Agboke, on Thursday, said  final list of governorship and House of Assembly candidates to reflect the withdrawal, replacement and substitution of candidates done by the various political parties in the state would be published on January 31.

Agboke, who made the disclosure in Ibadan, at the inaugural meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), said the final list of presidential and National Assembly election candidates would be made public on January 17.

He lamented that out of the 2,934, 107 registered voters in the state, only 1, 958, 069 have collected their permanent voter cards, leaving 1, 004, 577 cards uncollected.

He then called the owners of the unclaimed PVCs to utilise the available window for collection to visit INEC office in the local government areas and other designated areas.

The REC, who said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ready for the elections, tasked the heads of security agencies in the committee to ensure adequate security for all adhoc staff, INEC offices, and election materials as well as provide peaceful atmosphere for voting.

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While charging the security agencies to identify flashpoints and sponsors of electoral violence, he called on  them to be committed to “securing the registration area centres where the corps members recruited to serve as presiding officers and assistant presiding officers will be camped overnight.”

He assured stakeholders that smart card readers, which he said had been upgraded for better performance and efficiency, would be deployed for voter verification and authentication during the election.

Agboke  promised to engage with traditional rulers and religious leaders as part of efforts to step up voter mibilisation and sensitisation.

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, who co-chaired the committee with the REC, assured that the security agencies would deal with any threat that might happen before, during and after the election.

On how big a threat the skirmishes in some parts of Ibadan were to the elections, he said “I don’t see them as a big threat. They could be some threat, but we are working on them.”

He said, “We have mapped out strategies with which we are going to deal with them. The skirmishes that happened can’t directly now be linked with anything political. They are just thugs in about three areas.”