The collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and registration of voters is over in Lagos but most residents are still complaining of the shoddy performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Although virtually all local governments in the state have been complaining on the performance of INEC, the loudest protest is coming from Alimoso Local Government, the largest voting local government in the state if not the country.
In some of the areas visited by this reporter, it was one complain or the other especially during the registration of new voters leading to the general conclusion that there is a deliberate attempt by INEC to disenfranchise the majority of the people of the local government.
At Ijegun and Abaaranje communities, it was a daily long queues of people waiting to register, yet the exercise seems not to be taking place.
According to a community leader in the area, Alhaji Adeola Alase, “we have mobilised our people and they have complied but it seems INEC is not ready for this exercise or a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise us. For the past three days, we have been using generating sets to supply power directly to the three computers on ground because their batteries are not working. Imagine INEC’s computers with no batteries, it is ubelievable”.
Another resident, an elderly Mrs Abigail Eleshin who defied old age to attempt to register for the exercise was left frustrated and after waiting for four hours without even getting near the registration area, she had to go back home.
“I can’t kill myself because I want to register, the organisers (INEC) seems not to be ready,” she lamented.
This reporter visited communities like Ilo, a border community with Ogun state; Ikola, Meiran, Ayobo, Ipaja, Ishefun, Camp David, Egbeda, Akowonjo, Shasha and Egbe among others and the complaints are the same.
At Ishefun community, this reporter noticed a registration exercise devoid of any security presence contrary to INEC’s assurance that policemen will be deployed to the registration centres. According to an INEC official, there has been no policeman deployed to the centre since the registration started few days earlier. “However, we have the number we can call if there is need for policemen to come,” the official said.
An 18 year old girl, Olamide Rasak, told this reporter that she was unable to register despite attaining the voting age. “At Meiran/Command/Ekoro road where I was supposed to register, there was no policeman on ground and some hefty men were just using their strength to allow their people to register scaring away genuine voters who want to register,” Olamide said, stating further that she was not able to register despite staying for hours at the registration centre for three days.
A resident of Ikola Ilumo community, isaiah Oluwole, summed up the entire exercise in the local government stating that there is need for the state government to take up the matter officially with INEC. “I suspect a deliberate attempt to disenfrachise us especially in Alimoso Local Government.
INEC came to this local government with obsolete computers and equipment. I personally did my own investigation as I visited some of the registration centres as a community leader.
“Most of the computers are not working. In some cases, residents have to obtain generating sets to power computers directly because some these computers don’t have batteries.
“In all registration centres I visited, there was no security. For me, INEC has a hidden agenda,” Oluwole said.
At Alimoso Local Government INEC secretariat at Ikotun, an official told this reporter that the commission is trying its best to ensure that all registrable residents are registered.