The just concluded distribution of permanent voter’s card, PVC in Oyo state,over the weekend received criticism from Oyo politicians claiming the exercise was fraught with crass irregularities.
Leaders of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of colluding with All Progressives Congress, APC to deny members of their PVC.
In a swift reaction, APC State Chairman, Chief Akin Oke dismissed
the allegation that APC colluded with INEC to perpetrate what the
opposition party, PDP called ‘structural rigging’, saying “it is a
blatant lie. Do INEC officials know whether you are from the APC or
PDP? It is unfair for them to say that when we ourselves had
avalanche of criticisms against the exercise.
”In all the 33 local governments in the state, we werev already
compiling our reports and possibly meet the INEC on Monday. In
fact, some of our members were saying the exercise was to rig the
election for the PDP to which I said no.” He complained bitterly
that the exercise was a flop at Afijio, Ibadan South West and other
councils where the party has large followers.
He called on INEC to consider extension of the exercise so as not
to shut out anybody during the election.
However, a chieftain of PDP Senator Lekan Balogun, who spoke
when some eligible voters from Lagelu Local Government
protested at his Alarere residence in Ibadan, alleged that the
exercise had been compromised.
He said, “there was so much fundamental and structural rigging
going on. The exercise has flopped.” The exercise was worse in
Afijio, Akinyele and ibadan North East. Cards were primarily kept
for the exclusive use of INEC friends in All Progressives Congress.
This exercise has to be cancelled or extended so that we start
afresh. We observed that it was only opposition party members
that were struggling to get their cards while APC members felt
relaxed. Theses shoddy deals would not help democracy.”
Similarly, Mr. Akintunde Ajayi, a PDP leader in Lagelu said, “the
INEC officials did not appear in wards 4,8,9, 11 and 12. In 2011
where about 1,000 eligible voters registered, now only about 120
of them are around while many names that were called were
absent. It was the cards of these people who were absent that a
member of APC would collect in bulk and leave.”
According to a source in ogbomoso, Mr. Samson Opatade expressed his disappointment on the exercise. He said he came all the way from Lagos to ogbomoso in order to collect his PVC only to be disappointed that there are no officials to attend to people and also, people in the neighborhood advised him to register for another one.