Lagos Residents Sleep At INEC Office Over Voter Registration

Some residents in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State have lamented hardship in obtaining their Permanent Voter Cards from the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

They urged the electoral body to further decentralize the registration centers to ease the process of obtaining the PVCs.

PUNCH Metro gathered that some residents left their houses as early as 4 am, while others slept at INEC office in the Government Residential Area, T.O.S. Benson Road, Ikorodu, in order to be among the first group to be attended to.

A 60-year-old resident, Christy Fofah, said some people came with mosquito nets to sleep at the INEC office.

She said, “People sleep at the gate where the security guards stay. Why should people leave their houses around 3am or 4am with the insecurity problem in Nigeria because they want to get PVCs? This is not the right way to get people to vote.

I have been here since 7am and I have not been attended to. I hope I will get it today (Monday), because after today, I don’t think I will come back.”

Another resident, who identified herself simply as Ibunkun, said she trekked a long distance to get to the INEC office.

The 22-year-old undergraduate noted that the exercise was not well organised.

A businesswoman, Oluwafemi Adedayo, appealed to the government to decentralise the registration centres.

She said, “The only INEC registration office in Ikorodu has one entrance. Before I entered, the crowd almost killed me, I squeezed myself to enter, but despite that, I have not been able to register.

“People want to have the PVC before the deadline. Many elderly people are here; my dad and mum who are over 70 are here. You can imagine someone that old rushing with young people because of PVC.”

Ayinde Sikiru, a 21-year-old barber, lamented that the INEC office in the area had three computers serving Ikorodu.

He alleged that some people who came late for registration bribed their ways to obtain their PVCs.

He said, “Even if you enter, you have to bribe them with N500 or N1,000 to register. People are everywhere, there is no order. If I obtain the PVC, I am not sure I will vote because I am totally discouraged.”

A 70-year-old pensioner, Adefemi Ojo, who claimed to have resided in Lagos for over 50 years, said he had to struggle with the youth to register.

Ojo said, “I was not pitied because of my age; I have been here since 8 am and I have not been able to achieve anything. I am an elderly person; they are supposed to answer us because we don’t have strength as the younger ones.”

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