Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has criticised the process of issuance of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) which started on Friday, saying “it is capable of disenfranchising the people .
Ajimobi made this remark in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media; Dr Festus Adedayo, after the governor monitored the exercise.
He said the people turned out en masse to collect the PVCs but did not find any Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at their centres.
The governor, who said he was inundated with complaints and called on INEC to address the problem.
He said with the absence of INEC officials, the whole essence of the government declaring one day holiday had been defeated.
“Our government has implicit trust in the INEC and its ability to conduct a free and fair election in Oyo State.
“We are not happy that our people, who we have enjoined and indeed mobilised to participate in the process, are not allowed to exercise that civic right on Friday,’’ he said.
He implored the INEC to double up efforts at making up for the absence of its officials on Friday, stating that government had sensitised the people enough to collect their cards.
The governor said apart making Friday public holiday, he made a statewide broadcast where he enjoined the people to participate in the process.
“Given the peaceful atmosphere and secure environment which this administration has instituted and nurtured since inception, you can be rest assured of free and fair elections in Oyo State.
“The consequence of refusing to participate in this exercise would be too dire for us individually, collectively and for our future.