From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be more pragmatic and proactive in ensuring that eligible voters are not subjected to undue stress during electoral process in future elections.
Oba Adeyemi gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after he and his wives (oloris) cast their votes at the Aafin polling unit.
Alaafin said the electoral process is one of the bulwarks of
democracy with voters as major stakeholders in the process.
“This is because if the people lose confidence in the process,
democracy, as a system of popular participation in government, willbecome a sham. The aim of an electoral process should be free and fair election where the candidate with the highest votes wins. However, the voters that vote during any election must know their right and roles in making the electoral process credible. It is when the voter’s rights
are protected during the electoral process that credible elections can be conducted and credible and popular candidates emerge as winners’’.
He lamented that a situation where many eligible voters were prevented from accreditation by INEC as a result of improper record keeping is unhealthy for sustainable democracy .
While commending INEC for the exercise, Oba Adeyemi said despite some challenges facing the card reader system which could be ameliorated, its advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Meanwhile, residents of Alawaye village in Atiba local government area of Oyo State staged a peaceful protest over the refusal of the Electoral Officer to accredit them.
It was gathered that out of 325 villagers with Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), only 95 names appeared on the voters’ list.
The intervention of the Samu of Oyo, High Chief Lamidi Oyewale, saved the situation, as the matter was resolved and accreditation started behind schedule.
Election was generally peaceful in Oyo metropolis, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Saki, Okeho and Okaka.