By Chris Onuoha
Lagos — The Central Working Committee of Lagos State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to decentralise the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, in Lagos State to enable non-indigenes in the state get their cards before the forthcoming election rescheduled to start March 28, 2015.
In a statement by president of the chapter, Fabian Onwughalu, who made the call at a media briefing in Lagos, expressed displeasure with the distribution of PVCs in in the state, describing it as a calculated attempt to disenfranchise Ndigbo in Lagos.
According to him, developments in INEC offices in some local government areas and Local council development areas in Lagos indicates that INEC officials give voters cards to certain leaders of Lagos indigenes to distribute to their people who cannot queue at their offices, while the same denied non-indigenes.
Lamenting manner the cards were being distributed and the subsequent non-inclusion or disappearance of names of mostly Igbo residents in Lagos from the INEC computers, he said: “It is unjust and unacceptable.
“Ndigbo residents in Lagos are predominantly traders and the harsh condition placed by INEC for people to pick their PVCs at local government offices is cumbersome, which also affects their business hours.”
Onwughalu called on INEC to decentralise the distribution of cards to wards or selected recognised leaders of various associations in the state to give to their people.
Representatives of various Igbo groups, under the umbrella of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, present at the meeting lent their voices to the condemnation of the manner PVCs were distributed, and asked INEC to put things right before the election or allow people to use their Temporary Voters Cards, TVCs, since it was becoming difficult to collect the PVCs.