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Published by Tribune on Mon, 25 Aug 2014

Following the complaints that greeted the continuous voters' registration exercise in Ondo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been asked to extend the duration of the exercise by five days.The people of Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency made the demand in Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje local government area,following the alleged failure of over 60 per cent of eligible voters to register.Speaking on behalf of the people, the state's Commissioner for Environment, Chief Sola Ebiseni said the centralisation of the exercise had made it difficult for many people to be able to register.He also said many of the machines deployed by the commission for the exercise were malfunctioning, while those allotted to each of the wards were not enough.He added that in many of the polling units that should accommodate at least 500 voters, officials of INEC were not able to register up to 30 per cent after four days of the exercise.Ebiseni, a former chairman of Ilaje/Ese-Odo Local Government area, said for the exercise to be meaningful and have the desired impact, it was imperative for the commission to extend the days given to the exercise.He lamented that with the rate at which the exercise was moving many people from the area would be disenfranchised as they might not be able to register.Voter cards, symbol of electorates' power'KoleoshoA chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Chief Michael Koleosho, has advised electorate not to exchange their voter cards for gifts.Koleosho, who gave this counsel in Saki after collecting his Permanent Voter Card (PVC), said the card remained the people's key to liberate themselves from shackles of slavery.'We have to understand that the real power belongs to the electorate,' he said. 'But the symbol of that power is our voter cards. It is the card that we use to exercise our power over politicians.'Cautioning the people against selling the cards, he said, 'I heard that some groups are asking the people to exchange their voter cards for money or some food items. To do so is to sell the future of our children. Let us keep our cards; it is our instrument to keep those we want in office and those we don't want out of political offices.'Oyo voters must not be disenfranchised, Lanlehin tells INECBy Dare AdekanmbiThe Senator representing Oyo South District, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that no single voter in Oyo State is excluded from participating in the 2015 elections.Senator Lanlehin, in a statement on Sunday, said this became necessary in view of the 'glaring shortcomings' that had characterised the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise and the distribution of permanent voter cards.Lanlehin said his findings from the various units across the 11 local government areas in his district revealed some inadequacies and unpreparedness for the exercise.'What justification does INEC have for non-functional data machines, bad batteries and non-appearance of staff, despite all the preparations that the commission claimed to have made for the exercise''The impression being given by INEC in all the centres visited was that the continuous voter registration exercise and distribution of permanent voters' cards are impromptu exercise,' he said.The Accord Party chieftain, however, charged the people of his district and the state in general to continue to cooperate with INEC and patiently get their cards and get registered.The voter cards, he said, remained the only legal tool the people of the state would use during the next general election to elect candidates of their choices.Gbolarumi commends Oyo residentsBy Tunde OgunesanFORMER deputy governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi has commended Oyo State citizens and residents for coming out to register in the ongoing voter registration exercise.Gbolarumi, in a statement made available by the director of Administration and political strategy, Hazeem of his campaign organisation, Mr Bayo Idowu, said the large turn out means that the people are now alive to their civic responsibilities.'The large turn out of voters for registration in the last one week has clearly shown that our people are alive to their civic responsibilities without being pushed. Even, the peaceful manner with which they ensure that they got registered is a new dawn in the political history of the state.'It is only those who registered that have the constitutional power to change government.' The gubernatorial aspirants under the platform of the PDP then urge the INEC to consider extention of deadline for the registration, noting that 'thousands were still not registered.'Bauchi residents lament inadequate materialsSaliu Gbadamosi-BauchiAS the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC)'s continuous voter's registration (VCR) continues, residents of Bauchi State have raised concerns over the conduct of the exercise, even as inadequate materials and shortage of power supply have been hampering smooth conduct of the exercise.Nigerian Tribune observed gathered in Bauchi and Ganjuwa Local Government Areas of the state that there was a large turnout of eligible voters at the various registration units to participate in the exercise.Some of those who spoke with Nigerian Tribune lamented that it had been stressful to register their names due to shortage of manpower; inadequate working materials as well as shortage of power supply, making them spend long time at the registration units visited.At Makama Hardo and Dan iya/ Hardo ward in Bauchi LGA, the turnout was impressive prospective voters said they had been having a hard time to register, considering the fact that about 70 polling units were merged together for the registration exercise.'I have been here since 8.00 am and now it is 1.00 p.m and I have not been able to register because of large crowd here. INEC merged more 50 polling units and this has made the exercise very stressful for voters,' a participant in the ward lamented.In some of the polling units in Ganjuwa LGA, it was observed in some units that the batteries of the INEC computers used by the ad hoc staff for the exercise ran down withAmusan raises the alarm over activities of APC, othersOlayinka Olukoya- AbeokutaA Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Honourable Kayode Amusan, has alleged that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is masterminding influx of persons from states other than where they reside to register as voters.Amusan stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Sunday, that it was part of a grand plot by the opposition to perpetrate fraud in the 2015 elections.He said the mass movement involved persons from states like Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states, where governorship elections would not hold next year.The former member of the House of Representatives accused the opposition party of providing logistics to uncanny prospective voters to facilitate the illegal influx into other states.Part of his statement read: 'These bad eggs among the political class are doing so through proxies so as to escape the preying eyes of law enforcement agents and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).'I decided to raise the alarm, because of the danger in such unpatriotic activities as they are capable of causing a possible breakdown of law and order, especially if such politicians should have their way now.Akinyele residents protest inadequate machineResidents of Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State on Saturday protested lack of and malfunctioning of Direct Data Capturing Machine of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the council area.Armed with placards with various inscriptions they took their protest to the INEC office located at the Akinyele Council Secretariat, Moniya.The residents were led by a member representing Akinyele Constituency II, in the state's House of Assembly, Honourable Murphy Hamed-Adigun and party faithful in the council area.Speaking with newsmen during the procession, the house member decried lack of INEC machine in most of the units in the council area, describing it as attempt to disenfranchise eligible voters, who, according to him, are in thousands.'In this local government, we have over 20, 000 voters who were yet to be captured or registered by INEC, and they want to bring the process to a close on Sunday, that is totally unacceptable.'INEC should please, for the sake justice, equity and fairness gives us more time to allow eligible voters in Akinyele Local Government Area to get on the INEC list of voters for the next elections,' he said.
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