The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that the Osun State governorship election will be used to send a strong message to vote buyers and sellers ahead of the general election in 2019.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, said this on Wednesday in Osogbo at a sensitisation forum for journalists ahead of the Osun State governorship poll.
The REC’s speech was read at the forum by the Director of Voter Education, Venerable Stephen Ojewande.
He said, “The Osun State governorship election must be used to send a very strong message to vote buyers and sellers as well as other perpetrators of criminal activities during elections.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the journalists were critical stakeholders with the INEC and key to the success of any election.
He warned that any INEC official caught engaged in any fraudulent act would be punished according to the law.
Meanwhile, some physically challenged persons living in Osun State have lamented their inability to register as voters with the Independent National Electoral Commission.
One of the leaders of the PWDs from the Ife East Local Government Area in the state, Mr Adebolu Eluwade, disclosed this in Osogbo at the Osun Media Peace Day.
Eluwade said the programme which was supported by the National Democratic Institute; BBC Media Action; USAID and UKaid gave the people living with disabilities the opportunity to let the people know the challenges being faced by these categories of people while trying to register.
He said, “Some of our members especially in Ife East will not be able to participate in the governorship election in the state because when they go to INEC office to register, the officials there do not understand their sign language and this is disenfranchising them.
“ I want to appeal to INEC to hire those who can interpret sign language so that they would be able to communicate effectively with INEC officials to get registered as voters.”
Similarly, the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities urged the government to sign the bill on persons living with disabilities into law.
The Executive Director of JNAPWD, Mr David Anyaele, who made the appeal at a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday, said, “We are praying to the National Assembly to please do everything humanly possible to get the bill to the Presidency for assent.