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No PVCs For Fashola, Wife, Others In Lagos

It was drama on Friday as Governor Babatunde Fashola, his wife, Abimbola and others who registered at the governor’s polling unit could not get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the computer containing their database has crashed.

The governor arrived at his Ward G3, polling Unit E002, State Junior Secondary School, Surulere around 2.00pm to collect his PVC only to find out that no INEC official was around.

As he was waiting for the officials, he sighted a notice pasted on the entrance of the school, advising residents who had registered at the polling unit to revisit the unit next month for another registration exercise.

INEC ad-hoc staff had hurriedly pasted a notice on Thursday night, notifying voters who had registered in the two wards located within the premises that they had no voters’ card with the commission.

According to the notice, “We regret to inform you that those who registered in this polling unit do not have permanent voters’ cards. Please come back between 3rd and 8th December 2014 for fresh registration.”

But INEC’s Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola said the system containing the database crashed and could not be retrieved.

According to him, “Yes, some of the data captured during the registration in 2010 crashed. This was the reason we lost about 1.4million data for voters. We are embarking on fresh registration for them and others who were unable to register in the 2010 registration.

“I assure them to go back to those polling units on December 3rd, our officials will be available to register them. I can assure that they will receive their PVC before the commencement of the election next year.”

This does not go down well with Fashola who accused INEC of foul play and constituting a threat the democracy, saying that ” we have seen that INEC is the biggest threat to our democracy. They set date for the distribution of PVC, the state mobilised its residents for the exercise.

“We put all machinery in place only for the electoral body to change the date of the exercise. They said that the distribution and registration of voters would be done in 11 councils and not the 20 local governments. While the 11 had been handled in an unsatisfactory way, now the exercise in 9 local governments is not ready.

“If I the governor of the state cannot vote, it states what the electoral body had done. They came in the midnight and said that we should all come back and register on December 3rd, 2014. We registered and voted in that place. And there are evidence to show that,” he said.

According to Fashola, “Now, there are questions that must be answered by INEC, was the PVC for those units which they have cancelled printed and if yes, who have they given them to. One cannot wipe data gathered like that. But I want them to know that I still have my TVC and I expect all those who still have theirs to keep them. INEC registered us and they cannot deregister us because we are still alive.

“And if the electoral body cannot provide the PVC, he must allow us to use the temporary voters card to vote. It is disgraceful to say the least. This shows how we organise the affairs of this country. Everything that had happened under Jega’s tenure, it has characterised by mistakes from his very first election. Promises have been made and broken. It is a disappointment. We will participate in the election whether they like it or not. I feel sad when I visited India and I saw how the country was organising elections for population more than our without hitches.”

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