Mr Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, says 735, 705 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) remain uncollected in the state.
Agboke disclosed this at a stakeholders forum held in Ibadan as part of efforts to ensure violence-free general elections in 2019.
“Oyo INEC is still having 735, 705 uncollected PVCs left. This is alarming, hence, the need for collective efforts in ensuring that these PVCs are collected,” he said.
He said INEC had adopted strategic measures to reduce the high number of uncollected PVCs, adding that these include establishment of call desks at the state offices.
“The call desks are for calling of PVC owners on phone to pick up their respective cards and the same was established at the local government level,” he said.
The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the forum was “Towards Credible 2019 General Elections and Civil campaigns.”
NAN also reports that the forum specifically focused on hate speeches, fake news and vote buying.
Agboke, who noted that the commencement of campaign for the general elections was five days away, urged politicians and their supporters to shun hate speeches.
“Today marks five days to the commencement of campaign activities. It is 94 days to the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
“It is apt and timely, bearing in mind that political parties and their candidates are set to commence campaigns and other electoral activities,” he said.
Agboke, who said that he was doing a lot to ensure free and fair polls in the state, recalled that he had met with stakeholders in the electioneering process.
“These include IPAC members, the academic community, Non-Governmental Organisationstraditional rulersrs, religious bodies as well as the media and security agencies.
Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, the Director of the National Orientation Agency in the state, said the general elections would represent the sovereign will of the people in line with global best practices.
“A gathering like this to ventilate opinions on how to put our democracy on the right footing is very crucial,” she said.
According to her, politics becomes a dysfunctional game when it is stripped of the basic ingredients needed for democracy to flourish.
She called on all stakeholders to play according to the rules while warning them to eschew violence.
Prof. Tajudeen Akanji, the Director of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies at the University of Ibadan, said all Nigerians must partner to ensure free and fair polls.
“Every Nigerian has a role to play in ensuring that Nigeria gets it right in 2019,” he said.
He also warned politicians and their supporters as well as journalists and other stakeholders to be civil in their commentaries.