Open Letter To INEC Chairman… By Obideyi Olanrewaju Lobinco

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Good day and Happy new year to you sir.

I will start this open letter by appreciating your effort so far in your office and at delivering credible elections in less than 50days time.

I will also wish to let you know that quite a good number of we Nigerian youths still believe in our country, and though bad crop of leadership have so characterized our institutions and political atmosphere, we know there are still good humans with good sense of purpose for the country, though they may be very few in numbers.

I want to hope posterity will list you amongst such humans in a few days’ time, just like we sing the praises of your immediate predecessor Professor Attairu Jega at the moment.

My purpose of writing is based on how I am daily getting agitated about whether INEC wants to play to the gallery or not, by stylishly disenfranchising legitimate voters in the western part of Nigeria, as this part of the country may be the deciding factor in the coming general elections based on postulations by political pundits.

I am a resident of Lagos and I must confess I was caught unawares when some days back you announced that Lagos state has the highest number of registered voters.

My first thought was that is unbelievable considering how busy Lagosians are. I wondered and concluded that this election must mean so much to Lagosians. I imagined the sacrifices they would have made to ensure they got registered.

I wont be surprised that some may even have had to recieve queries from their places of eking a living just to ensure they got registered.

This is because it takes an individual an average of one hour to get through the registration process in this part, considering the crowds that are always on standby to also register.

Imagine how it will then feel if after all that stress and sacrifice, a registered voter is technically disenfranchised on election day because he or she has no Permanent Voters Card.

Worse still is such voters knowing they actually have the card with the INEC officials but due to the stress attached to collecting same and after several efforts if trying, they couldn’t collect it due to the bureaucracies and bottlenecks attached to getting their PVC.

As much as I may not be able to ascertain the collection rate of PVC in this part of the country, I can rightly say there is still a whole lot yet to be collected considering my travails and experience at the INEC office in Ogudu Ojota Lagos where I was eventually able to collect mine today.

Today was actually my 3rd time of going for collection and considering the transport fare, and atimes unfruitful hours I had to spend in traffic to and from my house, if I had not been resilient, it is enough reason for me to have given up on collection of the card which is the only way I can participate in the governance of my country.

Kosofe LGA have been broken down into 3 LCDAs and these LCDAs are further broken down into wards and zones and polling units.

I feel it is a technical tactic of disenfranchising someone who lives in Isheri, Mile 12, Ajegunle and other regions under Kosofe LGA to have to go through the harrowing experience of getting to Ogudu before they can get their PVCs when actually same could have been brought down to the polling units where it could be easily accessed.

Sir, attached to this letter open letter is a picture of how things looked today at the collection centre and I must confess today seems the day with the least number of crowds since my pursuit for my PVC collection. I had to go to same venue three different times before I could register my PVC for transfer from where I hitherto registered.

This is just one local government area out of twenty in Lagos and out of the 774 in Nigeria. I can imagine my dad of almost 80years and his agemates (I saw some old people there today though) having to go through this stress to collect his PVC.

Someone said to me last week that the North has the highest rate of PVC collections as PVCs even go home to meet their owners. Why then can’t similar if not same be said about the other regions of the country.

Sir I hereby plead and as a matter of urgency that this issue be addressed and with utmost urgency as the situation on ground is already affirming what your detractors want the populace to believe about you.

To have occupied this your current office and so more, under this present administration, I believe could only be based on merit and not sentiments.

Please do what needs to be done and give directives which needs to be given to ensure no Nigerian eligible voter is technically disenfranchised. Posterity is keeping watch sir.


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