By Kunle Adedoyin
A top official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) helped to give credibility to the 2019 general elections.
Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo State, during a visit to the Ibadan Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency said that the monitoring of vote buying and vote sale in the last general elections across the country prevented the exercise from being compromised.
“Your intervention in the 2019 elections is not something that can be wished away. In fact, it gave credibility to the conduct of the elections,” Agboke said.
“I was monitoring the analysis of the elections on the radio one day when somebody said he saw, for the first time, EFCC men around Oluyole area and Ibarapa axis.”
He said that war waged against vote buying by the anti-graft agency checkmated vote compromises in the election and gave it more credibility.
Agboke said that apart from playing laudable roles during the buildup to the elections, the EFCC was there throughout the exercise.
“Your own computation during the collation was even more superb than what we were doing with the Excel.
” I discovered that each time we were showing the results, you were the one telling me the margin between all of those figures.
“It is a commitment. It is not just because you are doing an official duty. It is the support. We thank you very sincerely. We thank all your personnel,” he said.
He also thanked the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, for collaborating with the electoral body to help discharge its duties to the satisfaction of most Nigerians.
Agboke said “the mandate given to us was to collaborate and interface with all the agencies of government to deliver acceptable elections.”
“I know at the national level your chairman too was also interfacing with my chairman (Prof. Mahmud Yakubu) and that is responsible for the successes we recorded,” Agboke said.
Agboke further said that INEC had started preparing for the 2023 elections, noting more than 700,000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) belonging to prospective voters in the state had yet to be collected.
“The commission is gong to start the process of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) very soon.
” Those who were unable to register will register.
“Those whose cards are still in our custody will be able to come and collect their PVCs. As I speak, we have over 700,000 PVCs uncollected,” he said.
Mr Friday Ebelo, the Ibadan Zonal Head, in response commended the staff of INEC for putting Nigeria first in the discharge of their constitutional duties.
Ebelo said “all public servants should make such commitment their watchword in order to end well in their chosen careers.”
“I always tell my people that as the head of an agency of government or leader of a people, you must always remember that you have a name to protect. That should be the motivation for you to stand your ground at all times.
“If you want to be compromised, you can be compromised. But if you can remember that you have a name to protect and you have a tomorrow ahead of you, you will gguard against being compromised
“That is the kind of commitment I saw in you and your team during the 2019 elections when I was working with you,” Ebelo said.
He said the EFCC was ready to offer any assistance within its powers to help in sanitising the country’s electoral processes.
It would be recalled that the EFCC played a vital role in monitoring illicit movement of cash and vote-buying during the last general elections.