Though Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu assured Nigerians that collection of Permanent Voters Cards by millions yet to do so will continue up to a week before the 2019 general elections this month.
The chairman’s claim has however, been faulted by residents of Lugbe.
Some residents of the area who spoke exclusively to Blueprint berates the attitudes of INEC officials posted to the Lugbe Primary School – sole venue of the PVC collection for the area saying it was as a deliberate attempt to disfranchise the citizenry.
One of the residents Femi Elebiyan described his experience as unpalatable as his visit to the center had been unfruitful as no INEC official was on ground to issue PVC to the electorates on Sunday.
“Honestly speaking it has not been a sweet experience. I had it within me that I must vote now. I did a transfer and I was asked where did I want to cast my vote I told them Federal Housing Lugbe. I choose Mr. Biggs polling unit to be precise and when I check they said I should go to Kabusa, I went to Kabusa twice, I was told that I should come to Lugbe Primary School, when I got there I was asked to put down my name and wait for the INEC official that they will call the names.
“I stayed over two hours and I look at it, I can’t leave my work for two to four hours so I went. I came back another day the same thing. I said okay I don’t think I will come during working hours again.
“I read on paper and heard news that weekend Saturday or Sunday we have the privilege to collect the PVC now I’m here today is Sunday I was told between 9 and 3 PM INEC official will be here, I have been here over 20 minutes I just heard it now that they won’t be coming and they were not here yesterday been Saturday which is embarrassing and frustrating.
“We want to vote we need our PVC but the way I’m seeing it, it’s like we have been disfranchise so we don’t know what’s going to happen and for me to come tomorrow been Monday I don’t know how possible that will be.
“You write down your name, stay for four hours and by the time they call your name, maybe you only see two officials there to handle like 400 people, there should be better way of doing this, we said we are a developing country we have so many developing countries that are doing things the right way.
“The other day I went to register for my national ID card and the only question I was asked is to give them my BVN and all my information came out so if we really want to do things right we can. INEC is frustrating us, we want to vote but right now so many people might not vote,” he said.
Another resident Mrs. Grace Nwankwo said, “Actually this is my first time of trying I don’t want that stress of coming today coming tomorrow. Tomorrow now is a working day and I don’t know when I will be able to come and meet them, they should do something, let it be easy for us once you come you collect your card and leave that’s the only thing I want from them.
“If there is any way INEC would help us let them do that so fast, under this sun wasting my time my transport and yet I will not get the card and tomorrow I might say let me go try and yet I will still not get it so they should do sometime about it,” she said.
Blueprint observed that INEC officials were nowhere near the Lugbe Primary School collection center on Sunday when this reporter visited the center.
Also observed is the slow process of issuing PVC’s to the electorates at another center. The electorates are made to wait several hours after writing down their names and still not get the card. Blueprint gathered that the INEC officials collect money from those who want it the quick way thereby denying those that have queued patiently for their turn.
Blueprint also gathered that the INEC officials were available the previous Sunday when it was clear that a monitoring team was going round.