Press Conference by Lagos APC and National Leadership of the Party Over the Failed PVC Exercise in Lagos
Relying on INEC’s claims of good faith, we devoted significant time, energy and resources to mobilize people to register to vote in Lagos. We did this by creating awareness about the importance of the exercise. Our citizens responded. A total of 6,247,845million registered. Surprisingly, the recent figure claimed by INEC has whittled that figure down to 4.8 million. The reasons for this sudden and steep drop are shrouded in mystery and suspicion due to the lack of INEC transparency. Polling Units whose registered voters have been reduced to zero are on the increase and the number of such empty units now stands at a staggering 1801. Not included in this 1801 are people who have attained voting age of 18 are eligible to be registered as voters. The question INEC needs to answer is how did all these names get wiped down to zero? It boggles the mind that in a densely populated and politically active state such as Lagos there can be so many units with no registered voters at all. This belies the recent history of voting in the Lagos. It makes no logical sense. The voters did not disappear but something made their names disappear from INEC’s rolls. Something sinister is afoot. INEC must make public the entire Lagos register. The register is a public document and the electorate deserves to know what happened. The names, photos and relevant data must be disclosed to the public.
There are more questions for INEC. When did they discover their system was faulty and what steps have they taken to correct it? This also raises a question about the integrity of the software used to detect the errors.
Even with that, INEC announced that affected units would be able to register through the Continuous Registration, CR. But INEC has been idle. CR has been nothing but words spoken not actions taken. INEC has taken no corrective action since it discovered names were missing? With less than 4 months to the elections INEC has fumbled its register. Unpreparedness has become INEC’s institutional trademark. Time is against them to establish a credible new register by collection of new data. We must bear in mind equally that those under 18 years and who are now eligible to vote will also have to be captured and registered. Unfortunately, we are saddled with an INEC that has failed to take care of those who should have been on the original register not to talk of Nigerians who have just recently attained voting age.
INEC has had four long years since the 2011 elections to perfect the register, yet it sat idle and failed to deliver to Nigeria a credible register. This is a grave abdication of duty and portends ill for the upcoming election. What can INEC do in four months that it has been unable to do in four long years? One wonders if it takes INEC this long to produce a comprehensive Voters Register, and Permanent Voters card, PVC, then how would it handle the national elections? No State was alerted about the troubling issues with the VR. If Lagos is a test case, INEC has failed. INEC set the date for the commencement of the distribution of the PVC, yet it knew it was not ready. INEC is unable to cover at once the 20 Local Government areas in Lagos where registered voters stand at 6,247,845 million against INEC’s claim of roughly 4 .8 million. INEC has announced that it can distribute PVCs in only 11 LGAs in the first instance in Lagos State instead of all the 20. Even for the 11 LGAs, there is so much confusion and disorganization in the distribution such that by the second day of the exercise just 20 per cent have received their PVCs. We must also query INEC as to what percentage of total registered voters the 11 LGAs constitute.
INEC has set in motion a process dripping in doubt and susceptible to fraud and manipulation. One is forced to believe INEC is not this incompetent but that it now acts in direct collusion with the ruling party, PDP to disenfranchise eligible voters and rig the elections.
Going by this shoddy and disorganized and unreliable method of distributing the PVCs in the 11 local government areas, INEC has shown its hands. They are unclean. There is no way it will not appear to any reasonable person or analytical mind that there is something amiss. There are assurances that INEC will correct the anomalies in Lagos and be able to register those omitted and new eligible voters.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to email@example.com