…Commission says “Vote buying and selling is Criminal and Unconstitutional”
The Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN), Ogun State Chapter earlier today, Friday, November 9, 2018 paid a courtesy call on the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) at its Magbon Office, Abeokuta.
Public Relations Officer of the group, Comrade John Izabi while introducing other members of the visiting Association, explained that the visitation became needworthy as a form of “formally familiarizing the existence of the association with the Commission as well seek collaborative ways of ensuring a successful forthcoming general elections, especially in the state”.
Comrade Izabi who’s also the Publisher of NEWS FLAKES NG also commended efforts of the electoral Umpire in sustaining democratic ideals in Nigeria while echoing the reasons for the group’s visit as well as its existence particularly in the state emphasizing the need to distinguish the professional group from other related individuals and bodies like bloggers and Citizen-journalists.
Representing the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr James Oludele Popoola, who’s the Administrative Secretary highlighted continued efforts of the Commission towards ensuring a smooth Electoral exercise come 2019, especially in the state.
Mr Oludele specifically mentioned the efforts of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission in the area of Voters’ Education, Delivery of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), Public sensitization as well as clean up of the Voters’ Register, as means of ensuring a smooth electoral exercise, announcing that “uncollected PVCs are still available for pick up by voters who registered between March 2011 and March 2018 have until Monday November 12th, 2018 to claim them at their respective wards and polling units between 9am and 3pm daily while the existing Voters’ Register is being displayed presently for proper verification by the voting public while appropriate complaints could be also lodged with the state Commission.
Meanwhile, the representative of the State Resident Electoral Officer while affirming that the commission is very ready for the forthcoming 2019 polls, strongly condemned the rising menace of vote buying and selling by major stakeholders (the political parties and electorates) as noticed across the country, urging all stakeholders to play according to the stipulated rules and election guidelines as stipulated in the constitution.
Speaking on behalf of the Association, the General Secretary of state chapter, Comrade Michael Ogunsiji, chronicled the activities leading to the formal existence of OMPAN in the state while further reassuring the commission of the group’s support as a body of regulated, responsible and well trained Online and Digital journalism experts specifically in the area of quality information gathering and dissemination of the commission’s activities, geared towards a successful electioneering exercise come 2019.
He also maintained the need of the Commission as an unbiased Umpire to carry along all stakeholders in the state, in its activities as a way of further ensuring a peaceful exercise.
Other members of the Association present at the meeting were the State’s Deputy Chairman, Comrade Michael (City Voice), Welfare Director, Comrade Adejola Adeyemi (Tropic Reporters), Financial Secretary, Comrade Sola Ajibike (Flash on News), Comrade Sanusi Lateef (NewsworldPrime), Comrade Toheeb Osoba (Platform Times), amongst others.
OMPAN is a registered regulatory body of Online Media Practitioners and Digital News Journalists recognized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The State chapter headed by the Chairman, Comrade Kayode Akin Samuel of Falcon Times, was inaugurated earlier this year in June by Ogun NUJ Chairman, Comrade Wole Sokunbi at the Iwe Iroyin Press Centre in the presence of the group’s National Vice president, South-west, Comrade Peter Jones.
INSET: OGSIEC representatives with Ogun OMPAN Exco-members in a group pose after the courtesy call