By Adeola Badru
The Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has shifted the date for the local government election in the state from the earlier scheduled May 15 to May 22.
Chairman of OYSIEC, Mr Isiaka Olagunju, made the disclosure at the flag-off of the statewide voter education and mobilisation campaign towards the local government election organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
The chairman said the one week shift became expedient owing to discovery that the Ed-el-Fitr celebration and holidays would fall around the previous May 15 date.
While assuring that the OYSIEC would be impartial and declare only ballots cast, Olagunju stated that the success of the election was also dependent on residents coming out en masse on the election day.
The event also saw the OYSIEC boss listed four other documents aside from Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) that will be tenable by voters to cast their ballot.
He listed the other acceptable items to vote as Temporary Voters Slip, Drivers Licence, National Identity Card and International Passport.
Speaking further, Olagunju said what was imperative was for a person’s name on any of the identification documents to match the name on the Voters Register, which he said will he displayed across the 33 local government election areas from next week.
Olagunju added that he had instructed security agencies whose names are not on the voters register and present at the polling centres to be arrested.
In his remarks, Director, NOA, Oyo State, Moshood Olaleye, urged residents of the state to elect those that are truthful, credible and those that have proven themselves to be close to the grassroots.
Olaleye charged stakeholders in the election not to engage in acts that will breach peace and incite violence in the election.
He avowed that the sensitisation campaign by NOA will be statewide while urging residents to be involved in the electoral process and come out enmasse on day of election.
Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Mr Fagbemi Adegbenro, in his remarks, urged security agencies to disallow intimidation of voters at polling centres on election day.
Adegbenro noted that the one week shift in the day of the election affords the political parties more time for campaign.
To prevent clash among supporters of political parties, he said the IPAC had admonished political parties to ensure that no two parties campaign in the same area on the same day.
Representing the Department of State Services (DSS), Margaret Ayoola, charged traditional rulers and religious leaders to speak to their subjects to shun any form of violence throughout the electoral process.
Representatives of the Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and other security agencies urged residents to come out in large numbers to vote so as to prevent the tendency for unpopular candidates to rig the election.
The security agencies also urged the OYSIEC to keep to its word of allowing the people’s votes to count.