The new Ogun Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has solicited Alake’s support and intervention on the low turnout of eligible Citizens, for the ongoing Permanent Voters Card (PVC) registration exercise in Ogun State.
Mr Agbaje made the plea during a courtesy visit to the Alake’s Palace on Tuesday, 5th of October, 2021.
The Ogun REC whose assumption of office on September 14, 2021 coincided with Alake’s 78 birthday said it just became imperative for him to pay homage and seek the support of the Egba Apex Monarch and his royal blessings.
Mr Agbaje further assured the Alake that his tenure would provide free and fair elections, adding that Ogun would have better platforms to vote peacefully and conveniently.
He, however, appealed to the Alake to help warn politicians, saying, “they are always our problem.”
He assured that INEC would not do anything that would put them in jeopardy, adding that their board members are straightforward and would not tolerate rascality.
Besides, he lamented the low turnout of eligible Nigerians who are above the age of 18, that are yet to come for the Permanent Voters Card Registration.
He appealed to the Egba Paramount Monarch and his High Chiefs to help inform the immediate communities that eligible Nigerians who had never registered for PVC, now have the opportunity to do so.
He also said that those who had issues during the last registration or who would like to change polling unit or correct wrong data can now do so till the 20th of December, 2021, when the registrations would close.
He told the Alake that Ogun State had the least number of identified registered voters among the Southwestern States, despite having the largest population after Lagos and called on the people to get ready and exercise their franchise come 2023.
He also appealed to the Alake to plead with politicians to allow the Commission to perform its mandate and responsibilities in a democratic manner.
In his response, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, expressed joy in Agbaje’s appointment as Ogun REC, stating that he had virtually served every section of the State and is, therefore, a best candidate for the position.
The Egba Apex Monarch expressed disappointment in the snatching of ballot boxes, saying the action is sad and shameful as an attempt to rig elections.
He, therefore, stated that with time, such acts would cease, adding that the new Ogun REC had assured totally free and fair democratic elections.
“Continue to build on the goodwill that you enjoy,” Alake advised Mr Agbaje and assured him that he would play his part in advocating for citizens to get their PVC in every township across Egbaland.
He added that Ogun State had no reason to diminish the number of eligible and registered voters when there was no war or disaster in the nation.
He further prayed that the new Ogun REC would achieve tremendous success in the State.
Among the entourage of the Ogun REC, Hon Mr Olusegun Agbaje were Mr Olayiwola Oyeniyi, the HOD Finance; Mr Kolapo Ademola, HOD GAP; Mr A. Gabriel, HOD EPM; Alhaji Lamidi Amosa, HOD E/Ops; Mr Lawrence Aladuntoyinbo, HOD ICT; Mrs Chioma Nwokeocha, HOD Legal Services; Alhaji Saliy Ochum, PA to the REC; Omole Folashade; and Mr Ronald Dansu, the Media Officer.
Egba high Chiefs present at the occasion included Osi Bode Mustapha, Baagbimo Akanni Akinwale, Lisa Ayinla Olaogun, Akogun Bayo Shoyoye, Aare Baaroyin Layi Labode, Bagbaje Olajide Taiwo, Bobagunwa-Elect Toye Okanlawon, to mention a few.