Resident Electoral Commission REC of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Oyo state Barrister Mutiu Agboke on Thursday disclosed that politicians are approaching the commission for the sales of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), in order to rig the 2019 general elections in the state.
Barrister Mutiu Agboke while delivering his keynote address at a one-day seminar organised by Association of Online Media Practitioners in the state said 914,529 out of Over 2.9m Voter’s cards are yet to be collected.
The REC who did not reveal the identity of the political party and those who have approached the commission for the sales of PVCs said ” They are looking for what is not available because they know that these things are not available. This is the security report at my disposal.
“Tell those who are looking for PVCs to buy that there is none to buy in Oyo state. I can assure you that no INEC staff will sell PVCs to any politician. I can assure you that the process will be free in Oyo state.”
While assuring residents of the state of smooth elections devoid of crisis in 2019, Agboke added that no staff of the commission will sell PVCs to any politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Agboke however urged journalists in the state to cooperate with the commission in spreading accurate information to members of the public.
“All of us are stakeholders, let us all work to enhance credible election in the state. As online journalists, let us ensure that we have our facts correct for me in Oyo state I have nothing to hide, we conducts the election in Eruwa and the people that won, and in 2019 too whoever wins election will be declared .”
He also advised media practitioners to abide by the ethics of the profession for a better society.
The South West Bureau Chief of The Nation and an Associate Editor of Nigerian Tribune newspapers, Mr. Bisi Oladele and Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre respectively in thier papers tasked journalists to be ensure credibility in their practice ans always abide by the rules and regulations guiding the profession in their day to day reportage.
The duo who said that online journalism has come to stay in Nigeria said that journalists must distinguish themselves from ordinary writers considering the fact that almost everybody is a journalist with the advent of internet and smart phones.
They agreed that one of the ways for the journalists to differentiate themselves from ordinary writers is for them to cross check their facts, investigate their stories and be conscious of the exiting laws in the land.
Oladele, an alumnus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and Ojo- Lanre, a former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor of Ekiti State, Engineer Segun Oni added that journalists have right to seek and request for information from organisations and individuals under the Freedom of Information Act.
Comrade Wumi Faniran, Chairman Nigerian Union of Journalist, Oyo state council in his welcome remark said journalists operating online should be conscious of the need to promote media integrity and operate in accordance to ethics of the profession.
In his Welcome address, Remi Oladoye , state chairman , Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria in Oyo state said the program was organized to further educate the online media practitioners on the need the need to discharge their duties responsibly and effectively.