The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State, has declared that it recognises only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Congress conducted on Saturday at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba in Ibadan.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mutiu Agboke, made this known, on Sunday in Ibadan.
Agboke spoke when he led the management team of the commission on an advocacy visit to Abere Central Mosque, Agbowo, Ibadan.
It would be recalled that two parallel PDP State Congresses were held on Saturday in Ibadan where two separate executives of the party emerged.
The faction of the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, held its congress at the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba.
Similarly, the aggrieved PDP members led by former Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Mrs Mulikat Adeola-Akande and Chief Bisi Olopoeniyan, held their separate congress at Jogor Centre, Liberty Road, off Ring Road, Ibadan.
The two factions had claimed the presence of INEC officials at their respective congress venues.
Agboke said the claim that INEC officers were present at the other venue apart from the Adamasingba was an unfounded insinuation, “because the person must have insinuated it that INEC attended two venues”.
According to him, INEC does not, or will never interact or relate with a group, in other words, INEC does not know group, INEC knows political party.
Also, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Raji, and other top management of INEC in Oyo State, was also present in the advocacy visit.
“Therefore, the venue given to the commission by the PDP, as a political party, was Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, which of course, INEC staff attended.
“The representative of the commission from Abuja, the HOD Election and Party Monitoring, and two other staff were at the Adamasingba. So, the claim that INEC attended any other congress is untrue.
“For us as electoral body, we have the policy of doing the right thing and that is what we are going to do,” the REC said.
Earlier, Agboke, while addressing Muslim faithful at the Abere Central Mosque, Agbowo, charged religious leaders and their congregation to take an active part in the electoral processes, saying that their participation would enhance the nation’s democratic growth.
He said that the participation of more people of integrity with fear of God would have a good impact on society, thereby making life better for all and sundry.
The REC said those who were not interested in politics should show interest now.
He said that those who have yet to register for the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) should do so.
“Those that are yet to collect their PVC from the custody of the commission should collect them so that we can have a good platform for elections in Oyo State,” Agboke said.
On the importance of such an advocacy visit, the Oyo REC said that it was necessary for us to be engaging major stakeholders and public advocates about what INEC was doing.
“Otherwise, you will give room for insinuations, misgivings, and the likes.
“So, when this religious group extended an invitation to us that it needed voter education, I quickly embrace the invitation.
“Coming here is an avenue for us to teach them some of the things they do not know about the election, about Continuous Voters Registration and other things INEC is doing, and that was what we have told them,” he said.
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