Residents of Akure, the Ondo state capital, have berated INEC for the way the commission is handling the distribution of permanent voter cards, PVC.

The state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had earlier announced Tuesday, 24th January as a work-free for government workers in the state to enable them collect their PVCs.

The governor’s announcement made so many residents of the state who are yet to get their PVC storm INEC distribution points at their various wards with the hope of meeting INEC ad-hoc staff giving out cards at the centers.

Our reporter who visited some of the collection points met prospective voters waiting for INEC officials to bring the cards for them to collect.

Prospective voters at some of the collection points

Many of those who visited the centres with the hope of getting their PVCs left in disappointment as no ad-hoc staff of the commission visited the centres.

A septuagenarian, Mrs Musilimat Akande, who was at St. Peters Primarily School for her card said she is saddened to have spent over seven hundred naira to the collection point and not meet anyone.

She said government’s declaration of a holiday for PVC collection was her motivation for coming not knowing it would be in vain.

Akande added that she has been to the centre three times and will return home after queuing for a long time with no hope in sight.

Mrs Foluso Ogunleye, a civil servant who visited the centre with some of her colleagues expressed displeasure at the absence of INEC staff at the collection point without prior notice.

The situation wasn’t different at Methodist Primary School, Gbogi as there was no INEC staff on sight to attend to the people there to collect their PVCs.

For seventy-six year old Rasheed Ogunyemi who lamented it was his third time of visiting the school, “INEC needs to do more in public enlightenment to ensure that people know whatever the commission is doing and where to go to”.

Ogunyemi said “imagine coming here for the third time at seventy-six because I want to collect my PVC, only for INEC to move the collection away from here without informing us. To me, this is not how to do things”.

Friday Aigbodemen who said he has been at the school premises since 9am decried the absence of INEC ad-hoc staff at the centre adding that “they should have informed us that collection has been moved to the local government office”.

A visit to the INEC office at Oda road shows that a lot of those who visited some of the collection points already moved to the office to get their PVC as they might not have the chance to visit the centre again after the public holiday declared by the state government.

Prospective voters at INEC office, Oda road, Akure.

Mr Femi Bosede who drove his wife and daughter to the INEC office to collect their PVCs commended INEC staff at the centre for attending promptly to people who have special needs.

Bosede said “though the crowd is much, the way they (the INEC staff) are attending to pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, people with disabilities and elderly people must be commended as this eases the stress the people would have experienced”.

However, Bosede seems to be alone as others at the INEC office, including Kemisola Adeyemi and Sunday Adebisi complained bitterly about the number of hours they have spent in the sun.

Adebisi, who works with a private establishment that did not give him a holiday for PVC collection said “I have been here for over two hours and must go back to work as soon as possible. How will I spend the whole day here and still not get my PVC? Imagine the number of productive hours I am spending in the sun just because I want to collect my PVC”.

Head of INEC’s voter education, publicity, gender and civil society organisations in the state, Mrs Olufunmike Segun-Osifeso, while responding to the allegations said the commission engages in mass sensitisation to ensure that residents are carried along in everything the commission does.

Osifeso who emphasised that collection of PVC at ward levels was supposed to have ended since January 15th said “we made so many announcements on radio, television and the social media when we extended it by a week telling people that collection at the ward level will end by 22nd January”.

“I have a feeling that the massive turnout today is as a result of the holiday declared by the governor. As at last week, we had a little above three hundred thousand cards yet to be collected but the number has reduced drastically as visit to all our local government offices revealed massive turnouts today”.

“It is our belief that with the turnout, the cards that will be left before elections will be very few. People are really coming out to get their cards and we are happy about it.

“The problem with our people is that they like doing things at rush hour. They still have till Sunday to collect their cards and we have enough staff to attend to all of them, just as we reinforced the number of staff attending to them when we saw the rush this morning.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *