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Lagos Protests Incompetent Voter’s Card Excercise

Lagos Protests Incompetent Voter’s Card Excercise

Hundreds of angry residents besieged yesterday the Yaba, Lagos Mainland office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), protesting the shoddiness in the distribution of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs).

They said INEC plans to disenfranchise them in the 2015 general elections.

At 7:30am, the protesters under the aegis of Activists for Good Governance (AGG) disrupted traffic on Herbert Macaulay Way.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Is INEC an agent of PDP”; “Jega, don’t act Federal Government’s script in Lagos”; “INEC logistic problems, beginning of rigging”; “INEC has hidden agenda, don’t disenfranchise Lagosians”; “Lagos is not Ekiti State”, among others.

Led by Comrade Declan Ihekaire, the protesters moved towards the commission’s gate, where they were stopped by a combined team of riot policemen and operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS).

After a brief encounter with the security agents, the leaders of the groups met with Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, who assured them that no eligible voter would be disenfranchised.

Ogunmola said: “INEC has no plan to deprive anybody from exercising his or her voting rights. I can assure Lagosians we are responding to the complaints and we have doubled our efforts to ensure that the challenges are tackled adequately.”

He said INEC was working hard to ensure that all registered eligible voters got their PVCs.

The REC said the exercise would continue after the initial three days INEC gave to distribute the PVCs, adding that the exercise would hold later this month in the remaining nine local governments, which were not covered in the exercise.

“I want to assure the people that, by the time we conclude the exercise in Lagos, you will commend us.

“We know that there were hiccups in the distribution of the cards but there is no truth in the claim that INEC is short of staff. We will make up for the lapses in the subsequent exercise.”

Ihekaira said: “We are only using this medium to let INEC know that, it will not be business as usual. It is our right to choose the people we like. It is our right to vote out those who have held this country by the jugular.

“It is our right to vote out those we have invested too much hope in but have disappointed us along the line. INEC must prove that it is not being used or controlled. Power resides with the people.”

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