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Many shut out as INEC ends voters’ registration



 Many shut out as INEC ends voters registration
Many Shut Out As Inec Ends Voters Registration
Despite spirited efforts, many Nigerians were unable to register for Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as the exercise ended yesterday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had ruled out the possibility of extending the exercise, saying it needs time to scrutinise the voters’ register to clean up possible incidents of double registration, print permanent voters’ cards (PVC), among others.
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Some state governments had declared work-free days to enable residents to complete their voter registration exercise before the July 31 deadline.
However, our correspondents, who visited different registration areas yesterday, reported that many centres were crowded with many waiting in queue as of 6:00pm.
In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), one of our correspondents, who monitored the exercise in Bwari, Dutse and some parts of Kubwa as well as Garki Area 10 in the city centre, reported that several people were unable to register as of 4pm yesterday.
Mr Martins Abah, a teacher in one of the secondary schools in Bwari, said if the electoral body stood by its July 31 deadline, many willing residents would not be able to exercise their civic right.
He appealed for the extension of the exercise.
Another resident in Kubwa, Mohammed Isah, said he came to the registration centre around 10am thinking many people might have gone to church but to his surprise, there were close to 300 people in queue when he arrived.
“I have been here since then, this is 2:17pm now and not more than 20 people have been attended to,” he said.
But a man, who said he was attended to at Area 10 in Garki, blamed Nigerians for their rush hours attitude, adding that even if they extend the exercise, many will still complain.
Traditional rulers in the FCT had, at the weekend, pleaded for the extension of the exercise, claiming that many rural dwellers in the territory had not been captured.
Usman Suleiman, a resident of Kinkinau, Kaduna lamented that he couldn’t find a registration centre in the whole of Sabon Gari ward, which made him to give up.
Zayyana Surajo, a fairly-used cloth dealer at Sabon Garin Tudun Wada in Kaduna South local government area, said he was not happy that the exercise ended without him getting registered.
Muhammad Shehu Bakura, another resident, said: “I went to two centres at LEA Tudun Wada and Kaduna Polytechnic on Friday but nobody was there to attend to us.”
Khadija Shehu Kakura said the crowd at some of the centres visited discouraged her from registering.
In Kano, many prospective registrants were still in the queue as of the time our reporter visited one of the registration centres at Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.
Many of those spoken to, however, expressed doubt that they would be able to register before the close of the registration.
At the Tarauni Local Government INEC office, Daily Trust observed that hundreds of people were still in the queue in anticipation to get registered.
It was the same situation at other registration centres in Kano metropolitan areas.
Prospective registrants said based on the pace of the exercise, it was practically impossible to register more than 10% of those still in the queue before sunset.
Speaking shortly after his registration, Abdulrahman Bala Kawu, said he was able to register after six hours of waiting in the queue.
Amina Ibrahim, who was still waiting to register, said she had spent three days in a row without success.
A group of young women, who spoke to our reporter, complained that the process they went through was tedious.
“This is the fifth day we have been here, spending the whole day. We have gone to different registration centres. In some places, security men even beat us and shot teargas at us. We spent N500 everyday each for transport to come here. Honestly, we have really suffered and we still may end up not getting registered,” one of them said.
Visit to some centres in Lagos revealed that party chieftains hijacked the process as they colluded with some INEC staff to manipulate the process.
At Oluwole centre in Ogba, Ikeja local government area, it was gathered that party chieftains gave out numbers to people.
A prospective registrant, Oreoluwa Phillip, who visited the centre on Friday, said she left in annoyance owing to the manipulation.
“I got there as early as 6:32am but I was given number 107 while some people who just arrived got number 5. We learnt that party members have taken the number 1-100, so we were left with numbers from 101. Sadly, there is only one computer and the process was slow,” she said.
Daily Trust gathered that some of the approved centres in Lagos were not open to the public yesterday.
When our correspondent visited one of the centres on Agu-Are street, Ijanikin, INEC staff were not on ground.
Hundreds of people, who stormed the place with the hope to beat the deadline, were disappointed and went back home disappointed.
One of the residents, who identified himself as Emeka said: “No INEC staff was on ground to attend to people. Ago-Are is among centres approved by INEC for PVC registration.”
In Owerri Municipal Council, many prospective registrants forgo their church services as they thronged registration centres as early as 5am.
Ngozi Nweke, a resident, said she had been visiting the centre since last Monday, but had not been able to get registered.
In Nwangele local government area, a staff of INEC, who spoke anonymously, blamed the slow pace of the exercise on network failure.
He said, “Another problem is that most people who are here don’t have any business being here. They would’ve done theirs online, especially those who want to change registration points or areas.”
Residents of Port Harcourt in Rivers State also expressed concern over their inability to register for PVC.
A Port Harcourt resident, Chuks Nwama, told our reporter that all efforts to obtain the voters’ card were unsuccessful.
“Since last week, I have been making efforts to obtain the card but it was very difficult. On Monday and Tuesday, I left my house about 5.00am to the INEC office located at Aba Road. I was there from to 5.00pm, I couldn’t get registered,” he said.
Another resident, Pastor Emmanuel Chukwu, said he could not stand the pressure of standing in a long queue to obtain the card.
A public affairs analyst, Toyin Ajayi, reminded Nigerians that INEC has to work with its scheduled time table for proper planning, adding that frequent extension of such exercise might interrupt the arrangement.
He advised INEC to assess their schedule time table and take appropriate decisions regarding the requested extension by some Nigerians in the overall interest of the country.
Daily Trust

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