Posted by News Express | 14 November 2014 | 4,106 times
Prospective voters in Benin City and other parts of Edo State are seething with rage over the bungling of the on-going voters’ registration exercise and issuance of Permanent Voters Cards to earlier registered voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the different registration in the state capital, and other local government areas of the state, prospective voters and observers of the different political parties are furious with the slow pace of the exercise largely occasioned by the shortage of computers.
On Tuesday afternoon at Ologbosere Primary School in Ikpoa Okha Local Government Area, police had a battle in their hands trying to quell a violent protest that broke out after a crowd of youths started raining stones and broken bottles on INEC vehicles in protest of their inability to be registered.
Out of a mammoth crowd that was present on that day, only about 70 persons were said to have been registered. This sparked the anger of the protesting youths, who chanted songs denouncing INEC boss Attahiru Jega.
One protester, speaking with News Express, said: “This slow pace of registration is an attempt by Jega and the PDP-led Federal Government to disenfranchise Nigerians in states where the party is not in control.”
This sentiment is echoed by many others in Benin City. A lot of the prospective voters stand in the scorching sun waiting to carry out their constitutional duty and they wear looks of exhaustion in the burning weather.
Observers and prospective voters wonder why so few computers are brought to the registration centres when, in their opinion, INEC has the wherewithal to provide enough computers for the exercise.
The just-concluded issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) has also not gone without controversy. Reports continue to fly about the alleged stealing of voters cards by some top politicians in the state.
Some voters in Upper Sakpoba who recently decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) – the ruling party in the state, reported to News Express that they couldn’t find their names among those eligible for the collection of PVCs. They said they suspected foul play.
“It’s more than a coincidence that a number of people from one small ward who left the PDP to APC cannot now find their PVCs. We call on media men to shed a light on this injustice,” Nelson Azeez a spokesperson for the alleged disenfranchised decampees told News Express.
•Photo by Nelson Dafe shows an aerial view of a part of Ologbesere Primary School, south of Benin City, where a crowd of prospective voters wait in the sun to be registered.
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