By Emmanuel Adeniran, Ado Ekiti.
The House of Representatives Candidate for the Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 for the Young Democratic Party (YDP), Honourable Olaleye Ogunseyin has cried out and underscore the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in making available to him and other voters in his constituency and other places their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) ahead of the forthcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, the 16th of February, 2019. The Permanent Voters Card (PVC), going the electoral guidelines issued and given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the only criteria for Nigerians to exercise their franchise in the elections. The said PVC been complained about was transferred from Akure in Ondo State to Polling Unit 007, Ward 5 of Ikole Ekiti.
Honourable Olaleye Ogunseyin dropped this hint while speaking with pmparrot late on Saturday night over the phone. In his words, he said: “I have an urgent need to address the press on the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make available to me my permanent voters card (PVC) since I formally applied for its transfer from Akure, the initial place of abode where I registered to my home town / constituency / LGA / ward where I am contesting as a Federal House of Representative Candidate in the forthcoming election scheduled for Saturday February 16th, 2019, just a few days away. I have been on this with the INEC Office in Ado Ekiti local government area since February 2018. I was also with the Acting REC, Mr. Omoleke Musliu on Monday 4th February, 2019 to submit my petition even though the date for the collection was extended till Monday, the 11th of February, 2019; there are still many who has not collected their voters card”.
“In my Federal Constituency of Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1, there are three major contenders contesting the seat and these are the YDP, APC and the PDP. We have done all the needful and already, we are getting the maximum support from our people. I have just rounded up my ward tour and I covered over 24 wards in both Oye and Ikole local government areas. I did my PVC transfer before the Governorship election held last year 2018, and up till now, INEC has refused to give it to me. My PVC has not been issued to me. And without the card, I will not be able to vote as a candidate. Without the PVC been given to me, there is no way I can be accredited and if I am not accredited, there is no way I can be allowed to vote. So, I believe you know what it means when a Candidate in an election is been disenfranchised”.
“I have equally complained more than 15 times. I complained more than five times before the Guber election held last year, you know the election was June 2018 and I did my transfer since February 2018. So, from February up to the time the Governorship election was conducted, the card was not available. They told me that time, that Abuja has not sent it. Throughout the time I contested on the platform of my party (YDP) and was given the candidature and they did the capturing for me, still, to give me my PVC was unachievable by them. They only effected the transfer on the voters registers and refused to make my PVC available. And now, I cannot vote where I have been transfered to because of my PVC that INEC has refused to give me. Its like I am now hanging in – between. My PVC was transferred to polling unit 7 ward 5 in Ikole LGA”.
“I was with the Acting REC on Monday (4th February, 2019) where I submitted an application to them. They called Abuja and inform them and now running helter skelter on it. And they said I should keep waiting. And I asked myself, for how long will I continue to keep waiting. But we heard on good authority that it was those they contracted the printing of the PVCs to, that has refused to do it properly and to time”.
“The instruction overtime has been that whoever that wants to do a transfer of their PVCs should go to their LGA offices and apply which I did long ago. And since when they started the distribution of the PVCs in January 2019, each time either myself or my people went there; they use to meet many others also struggling to collect PVCs. And information’s from the feelers on the field also indicated that only in my Federal Constituency of Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 comprising of Oye and Ikole local government areas; that there are over 5,000 of my people / eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs”.
“Even, it is no longer new in the media that Chief Gani Adams, the Are Onakankanfo of the Yorubaland is yet to be issued his PVC, just imagine that. This is excluding of other prominent Nigerians going through the same experience in just few days to the country’s Presidential and National Assembly elections. In all, almost 20% to 30% of the PVCs has not been issued and INEC is still saying that the election will not be postponed even at that”.
But while reacting to the complains of the YDP House of Representatives Candidate for Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 on his inability to get his PVC; the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State, Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin, insisted that he should visit the INEC office in his local government area to be able to amicably resolve the matter.