INEC DROPS 2 FOR DENYING NON-INDIGENES COLLECTION OF PVCS IN LAGOS

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, on Tuesday, said that it had relieved two members of a community it engaged for the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of the assignment.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the commission’s Head of Public Affairs in the state.It said that the two persons were found to have denied a few non-indigenes the collection of their cards in the state.
The statement said: “The records we have at our disposal, and they are available for all to see, indicate that Lagosians of different ethnic backgrounds have been coming forward to collect their cards.
“To be sure, the bulk of the ad hoc staff engaged for the distribution exercise are NYSC members who come from different ethnic backgrounds.
“With such diverse backgrounds, it is most unlikely that they would embark on discriminating against non indigenes like themselves.
“Our findings, however, revealed that in few places where we did not have the full complement of NYSC members, some members of the community whom we engaged for the exercise, two of them were found to have denied a few non-indigenes the collection of their cards.
“We have consequently relieved them of this assignment.”
The statement said that INEC regretted whatever embarrassment the incident might have caused the affected members of the public.
It thanked those who drew the commission’s attention to the act.
“We are by this press release stating that no INEC official, permanent or ad hoc, has been engaged to give cards to people from only one part of the country while denying others their legitimate right of collecting their cards.
“All INEC staff are under firm instructions to give the PVCs to their rightful owners,’’ it said.
According to the statement, no money is to be demanded or given in doing so.
It urged the public to be vigilant and assist the commission in drawing its attention to any breach of its guidelines by anyone including its staff members.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, stated that it is not just sufficient for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to admit that two of her members of staff denied non indigenes their permanent voter cards (PVCs) in the state but that INEC must prosecute the said staff.
The party made the demand in a statement issued by its publicity secretary, Mr Taofeek Gani, even as it demanded that those affected must be interrogated and their sponsors made public.
The party stated that INEC must make public the identity of its members of staff that compromised the credible distribution of PVCs in the state and the number of polling units affected.
The party, therefore, gave the electoral body 48 hours, within which to make public the identity of the two staff; the polling units affected and the evidence of their prosecution.
The party added that, “We demand that INEC must disclose the identity of the two staff. It is our strong position that the INEC staff is more than the two yet unveiled,” alleging that, “They are spread all over the states, especially in areas populated by non-indigenes and the other interests whom the All Progressives Congress (APC) believes will vote against their party.
“We will continue to hold INEC accountable because INEC deliberately did not screen some of its ad hoc members of staff, who are known card carrying members of APC in the state. These are the people now distributing PVCs.”
The statement said that the distribution of the PVCs would continue at the 20 local government offices of the commission in the state till March 8.
It urged those who had not collected theirs to avail themselves of this extension to collect their PVCs.
Source: Tribune

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