PVCs: Protesters Storm INEC Office
THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has been petitioned over alleged deliberate mismanagement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) distribution across five Local Government Areas in Lagos state, resulting in the alleged disenfranchisement of prospective voters in 24 wards.
It also raised concern over the location of satellite polling units and the composition of INEC adhoc staff, who it claimed, are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a related development, there was pandemonium yesterday in Ogbomoso area of Oyo State, as residents nabbed some people for allegedly possessing over 500 PVCs.
The prompt intervention of policemen saved the suspects from been lynched by the irate residents by firing tear gas canisters to disperse the surging crowd.
Apparently acting on a tip off, some residents had swooped on the suspects, who were riding a Honda Accord car with registration number AR 892 LUY and prevented them from going away.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said the suspects were known political boys working for an Ibadan-born governorship candidate of a leading political party (name withheld).
Efforts to speak with police spokesperson, Adekunle Ajisebutu on the matter proved abortive, as he was not available when The Guardian called.
Meanwhile, the Benin office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was yesterday besieged by hundreds of youths from Egor/Ikpobha Federal constituencies, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate in the area, Johnson Agbonayinma, who led the protesters alleged compromise by some officials of the Commission, and that many of them including him, were yet to get their Permanent Voters Cards, barely two weeks to the election.
The protesters disrupted activities at the state INEC headquarters, as they brandished placard with various inscriptions such as: “INEC give us our PVCs”, “Mrs. Tongo must go”, and “Why disenfranchise Nigerians?”
Signed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senatorial candidate in Lagos West Senatorial District, Mr. Segun Adewale, the petition revealed that most registered voters in some wards are yet to receive their PVCs in Ibeju Lekki, Alimosho, Ikeja, Ifako Ijaiye LGAs.
The petition reads: “As the election date approaches, it is disheartening that most of our registered voters have not received their PVCs, despite the continued extension of the distribution deadline. I would also want you to note that some very important issues are yet to be resolved. They include: disenfranchisement of eligible voters, location of satellite polling unit and recruitment of adhoc staff, which are predominately APC members.”
Agbonayinma alleged that Edo State office of INEC had compromised its responsibility to Nigerians. He accused the electoral officers of Egor and Ikpoba Okha of illegality in what he described as an attempt to manipulate the electoral process by their actions in holding several nocturnal meetings with candidates of rival political parties
The Administrative Secretary of the Commission, Brown Uluocha, however, reassured eligible voters in the four local councils in the state, namely Owan West, Owan East, Ovia South West and Uhunmwonde local councils, where the continuous voters registration (CVR) held, that their PVCs would be made available to them before the elections.
Uluocha, who responded on behalf of the Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, said the Commission is committed to ensuring credible, free and fair election and will investigate the allegations bothering on compromise by electoral officers.