Peoples Democratic Party members in Ogun State in their hundreds on Wednesday held a peaceful protest over the non-issuance of their Permanent Voters Cards at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The protesters were led by a former local government chairman, Moroof Ajisegiri, and a former health commissioner, Isiaka Salako.
The protesters, who displayed their Temporary Voters Cards, said they were yet to be issued with the PVCs, which would be used for the elections, months after they duly participated in the registration exercise.
The presidential and national assembly elections will hold this Saturday, March 28.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “INEC release our PVC, Over 60,000 registered voters don’t have PVC, Allow us to vote in forthcoming election”.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Mr. Salako, while speaking with journalists said, over 50,000 of them have been denied their constitutional rights to vote for the candidate of their choice in the forthcoming election.
“I’m a former governorship aspirant in Ogun State and I have come here leading my people. Over 50,000 of us who have been denied our constitutional right to vote for the candidate of our choice in the forth-coming election by note having our voter card”, he said.
He said failure to release their cards will lead the protesters to sue INEC.
“We are not violent people, we are not going to prevent anybody from doing his duty. But if any organisation is preventing us from doing our responsibility then we also have the responsibility to go to court.
“Definitely we will carry an action against INEC if they do not give us our PVC so that we can be able to vote on Saturday. Both old and young are interested in voting for good government so that their children and grandchildren can have a better life”, Mr. Salako said.
Responding to the protesters’ complaints, INEC’s Head of General Administration and Procurement, Simeon Olatoye, said the commission was still working round the clock to ensure that every registered voter received their PVCs.
“At the moment, we’ve sent our officers to Abuja to collect outstanding PVCs. But let me tell you this, at this moment the commission here in Ogun State has been able to distribute over 70 percent of the total number of PVC received from Abuja but we are still expecting more.
“By the time the remaining cards arrive, arrangement will be placed to give the PVC to the rightful owners. At this moment, in all our LGAs we are presently distributing voter cards and we have not given it any stop. We will continue to ensure that your PVC gets to you as soon as those PVC arrives because we are still expecting more PVCs from Abuja”, he said.