By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—POLITICIANS in Oyo State weekend faulted the just-concluded distribution of permanent voter’s card, PVC in the state, claiming the exercise was fraught with crass irregularities.
Leaders of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of colluding with All Progressives Congress, APC to deny members of their PVC.
In a swift reaction, APC State Chairman, Chief Akin Oke dismissed the allegation that APC colluded with INEC to perpetrate what the opposition party, PDP called ‘structural rigging’, saying “it is a blatant lie. Do INEC officials know whether you are from the APC or PDP? It is unfair for them to say that when we ourselves had avalanche of criticisms against the exercise.
”In all the 33 local governments in the state, we werev already compiling our reports and possibly meet the INEC on Monday. In fact, some of our members were saying the exercise was to rig the election for the PDP to which I said no.” He complained bitterly that the exercise was a flop at Afijio, Ibadan South West and other councils where the party has large followers.
He called on INEC to consider extension of the exercise so as not to shut out anybody during the election.
However, a chieftain of PDP Senator Lekan Balogun, who spoke when some eligible voters from Lagelu Local Government protested at his Alarere residence in Ibadan, alleged that the exercise had been compromised.
He said, “there was so much fundamental and structural rigging going on. The exercise has flopped.” The exercise was worse in Afijio, Akinyele and ibadan North East. Cards were primarily kept for the exclusive use of INEC friends in All Progressives Congress. This exercise has to be cancelled or extended so that we start afresh. We observed that it was only opposition party members that were struggling to get their cards while APC members felt relaxed. Theses shoddy deals would not help democracy.”
Similarly, Mr. Akintunde Ajayi, a PDP leader in Lagelu said, “the INEC officials did not appear in wards 4,8,9, 11 and 12. In 2011 where about 1,000 eligible voters registered, now only about 120 of them are around while many names that were called were absent. It was the cards of these people who were absent that a member of APC would collect in bulk and leave.”