The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Oyo State, Barrister Mutiu Agboke has on Friday told politicians in the state, that none of them can bribe him or any of the electoral officers in the state to rig the 2019 general elections.
Agboke who declared that many politicians and political parties in the state were still living in the past by believing that they can rig the elections, however, informed that many innovations that have been introduced into the voting will make it impossible for elections to be manipulated.
He spoke while addressing thousands of Muslim faithful during a sensitization visit to the University of Ibadan (UI) Central Mosque where he joined the congregation to observe the two-Rakah Jummah Prayers.
Agboke while speaking insisted that the Presidential and National Assembly elections billed to take place today (Saturday) in the 33 local government areas of the state cannot be rigged in favour of any political party as a result of the various recent innovations introduced into the voting system.
He also said that no politician can bribe any electoral official to gain an advantage as the system that will be showcased in the elections will surprise many of them.
Agboke warned political parties instigating voters without the Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) to besiege polling booths and insist on voting to desist from doing so and avoid what he described as ‘invitation to anarchy’.
He advised the electorate without the PVC to stay back at home and not to attempt going to the voting centres with the Temporary Voters Card (TVC) as only people with the PVCs will be allowed to vote.
He added that no incident form will be issued to anybody who cannot present the PVC at any of the voting centres across the state.
Agboke said, “Let all of us remain calm. This election cannot be rigged. You cannot bribe any electoral officer to gain an advantage. You cannot bribe me to help you. There is no help I can render because I have no power over it. At the stages of our election, we have different personnel that will monitor it. We are not yet there but we are developing gradually.
“This is not an election that can allow violence to give an advantage to any candidate. Some of the politicians and candidates are living in the past. So, many innovations that we have introduced, we are going to showcase them tomorrow.
“So, please, no PVC, no voting and we have also said, even if you are a candidate and you don’t have PVC, you cannot go there but that does not stop people from voting you. As I am talking to you, we have received the consignment for our sensitive materials for the governorship and house of assembly elections. All of them are with the CBN.
“Again let me use this medium to dispel the rumour that a particular party has taken or is gaining opportunity over others by voting already in a particular place. I want to say here that, nobody has been able to have access to INEC sensitive materials in Oyo state.
If anybody has one let the person come out and confront me. I as the REC, I have not and I will never give any individual or group preferential treatment over others. So, the rumour of the political scandal and propaganda already going around that I am giving some people preferential treatment is a lie.
“Another has gone out again to say that I am under threat and been harassed and that someone is asking for my redeployment, all these are propaganda.
INEC will not join in propaganda. Nobody has even threatened me and I will never be threatened. We are going to conduct this election and winner will emerge and losers will emerge and heavens will not fall. So, don’t let us discourage and don’t let apathy set in”.