Prof. Attahiru Jega
Prof. Attahiru Jega

LAGOS- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sought the support of traditional rulers in Lagos State toward ensuring successful general elections in February.
Mr Akin Orebiyii, the new INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the Oba of Lagos, Riliwanu Akiolu.
Orebiyii said that there was need for him to visit the traditional ruler as the “landlord” of the state.
“I felt that before I will begin work at all, I should come and greet the owner of the land as we are planning for elections next month.
“We want Kabiyesi to tell our people to come out for the collection of 1.8 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that we have at the moment, before the other ones will come.
“We will ensure that all the elections are free, fair and credible, and that every vote counts.
“We want to appeal to our people to cooperate with INEC to avoid violence or any other thing that can cause trouble,’’ he said.
According to him, the commission will not support any particular interest, individual or party.
The INEC boss said that the commission’s doors were open for complaints and clarifications.
Orebiyi, however, noted that the challenges facing the commission in preparation for the elections would be addressed toward ensuring successful polls.
“Truly, our preparation is not without its challenges with respect to voter cards; we started late and also face some hurdles.
“We have seen that whether we like it or not, all the PVCs must come out.
“We are making efforts, since last Friday, we have moved away from our local government offices to the 245 wards, to distribute the cards before the elections.
“Those that newly registered in late last year in Lagos were about 1.4 million and all of them will have their cards once they are released,’’ he said.
The REC said that the total registered voters in the state were over 5.9 million.
“We received four million cards last year. As we speak today, only 2.2 million have collected their PVCs. We still have 1.8 million cards which we have pushed out to all the wards,’’ he added.
Responding, Oba Akiolu charged INEC to ensure the release of PVCs to all eligible voters in the state, to enhance the success of the elections.
“The task ahead of us, with prayers and God on our side, all will be well. I believe that God will give us the best in these elections.
“I will appeal to INEC to ensure that eligible voters get their cards before elections, because the state has between six million and seven million voters.
“All those that are making noise that there will be trouble are just making noise; it is God that appoints a leader.
“I assure you that the security forces in Lagos will ensure peaceful polls. They have prepared, if anybody says he IS going to cause trouble, they will deal with such persons,’’ he said.
He commended the Federal Government for releasing funds to INEC, for the conduct of the polls.
“I was happy when Jega said that government had given INEC all its financial requirements; there is no excuse,’’ the monarch said.
Akiolu charged INEC personnel to be professional before, during and after the conduct of the elections.
“All these area boys should be calm because the police will deal with any one that causes trouble.
“I have appealed to the hierarchy of the Army that they should not take sides,’’ he added.
The traditional ruler observed that politicians do not quarrel among themselves, but they only disagree and can reconcile at any time.