Dr Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, has urged Muslim cleric to sensitise members of their congregation on the importance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Agboke made the plea at a stakeholders’ conference organised by an association of Muslim Professionals and Technocrats, known as Political Awareness Group, attended by the management team of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Oja’oba Central Mosque, Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that had held a stakeholders’ conference at the Mosque, where INEC team.
Agboke, while sensitising the congregation, said that the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) was more important than any other things.
According to him, its importance has embodied and giving eligible Nigerians more courage to say they are voters.
“PVC embodied respective electorate to say that their vote would count, if voted during election,” Agboke said.
He urged Muslim faithful to register before the close of the exercise, adding, “the commission has yet to announce officially the closure of the registration.
“June 30 is still the closing date, but from the reactions and responses of Nigerians, the commission may extend closure date.
But, let us continue to take the opportunity of the ongoing registration to register,” Oyo REC said.
He also implored Muslim brothers and sisters to make use of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) to sensitise the general public on the need for those that have registered, but have yet to collect their PVCs to do so.
Agboke decried the nonchalant attitude of some Nigerians toward PVCs collection in the state.
He said that over 700, 000 uncollected PVCs were still in the custody of the commission in the state.
Agboke, therefore, urged the congregation to assist INEC in sensitising people whose PVCs were in custody of the commission to come forward for collection.
He assured the people that INEC was determined to conduct a credible electoral process.
The REC assured the people that only those who scored majority of people’s votes would be declared winner of any election in the state.
Reacting to allegation that some Muslim women on Hijabs were denied the registration for PVCs, Agboke said the allegation was not true.
He said: “There is no policy of INEC that disallowed or derecognised anybody from registering because of the use of hijabs.
“Our machines requires THAT your two ears must open, that is the way the machine has been configured, but a Muslim in hijab, who decided not to remove it or open your ears, can not be disallowed.”
Agboke said that non of INEC staff members would disallowed women on Hijabs from registration.
“Because all that is required is either their facials is taken or their biometric is taken; so, one of these can be of alternative to the other,” he said.