28th November, 2014
The names of the number one citizen of Lagos state, Governor Babatunde Fashola and that of his wife, Abimbola and all residents who registered at the governor’s polling unit were missing on the register of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and could not collect their Permanent Voters Card, PVC.
The governor, who after arriving at his Ward G3, polling Unit E002, State Junior Secondary School, Surulere, where he had registered with his wife, Dame Abimbola in 2010, did not sight any INEC official at the scene at about 2:00 p.m.
The governor, after waiting at the scene for a long time sighted a notice pasted on the entrance of the school, advising residents who had registered at the polling unit to revisit the unit next month for another registration exercise.
The notice placed at the gate notified that all those who registered at the polling unit, including Fashola and his wife would not get their PVCs as there was no provision for such.
“We regret to inform you that those who registered in this polling unit do not have permanent voters’ cards. Please come back between 3rd and 8th December 2014 for fresh registration,” the notice informed.
Fashola however reacted angrily to the fact that his name was missing on INEC’s database, thus denying him and others from collecting their PVCs, saying the umpire body represented the biggest threat to the nation’s democracy.
“We have seen that INEC is the biggest threat to our democracy. They set date for the distribution of PVC, the state mobilised its residents for the exercise. We put all machinery in place only for the electoral body to change the date of the exercise. They said that the distribution and registration of voters would be done in 11 councils and not the 20 local governments.
“While the 11 had been handled in an unsatisfactory way, now the exercises in nine local governments are not ready. If I the governor of the state cannot vote, it shows what the electoral body had done. They came in the midnight and said that we should all come back and register on 3rd December 3rd, 2014. We registered and voted in that place. And there are evidences to show that,” he decried.
According to Fashola, “now, there are questions that must be answered by INEC; was the PVC for those units which they have cancelled printed? And if yes, who have they given them to?”
He said one could not wipe datas gathered like that, saying he wanted INEC to know that he still had his temporary voter’s card and that he expected all those who still had theirs to keep them, adding that “INEC registered us and they cannot deregister us because we are still alive.”
He said if the electoral body could not provide the PVC, it must allow those who had the temporary cards to vote.
“It is disgraceful to say the least. This shows how we organise the affairs of this country. Everything that had happened under Jega’s tenure, it has been characterised by mistakes from his very first election. Promises have been made and broken. It is a disappointment. We will participate in the election whether they like it or not. I feel sad when I visited India and I saw how the country was organising elections for population more than ours without hitches,” he said.