Community leaders in Lagos State have deplored the continued inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) available to all registered voters with the elections about two weeks away.
In a statement issued by the Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council (LSCDAC), the umbrella body of the over 3, 0000 Community Development Associations in the state, the General Secretary of the Council, Chief Israel O. Orija, said the community leaders were apprehensive of the possible implication of having the mass of the people that have been unable to obtain their PVCs disenfranchised and suggested that the INEC releases the cards to community leaders for distribution.
The LSCDAC, which argues that allowing community leaders to have the PVCs for distribution, will fast track the process and make it possible for the INEC’s optimism of having all registered voters to obtain their voter cards before the elections, said they were making the suggestion, relying on INEC’s assurances that stolen or purchased cards could not be used by other persons order than their owners.
The community leaders stated that unless the cards are distributed and majority of Nigerians are able to vote at the elections, they will not be credible and those who would emerge from them to rule the country will not be acceptable as true representatives of the people. The leaders also expressed their disaffection over the way politicians were running their campaigns, scared that the heightening tensions from the campaigns could engender a possible bedlam.
The LSCDAC expressed its confidence in the ability and incorruptibility of the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, to conduct free and fair elections and called on all leaders of the political parties to rally round Jega to get over the impending catastrophe that may ensue should people be disenfranchised on account of not being able to obtain their PVCs instead of the ceaseless act of running campaigns of calumny to discredit others.