Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explain the disappearance of 1.447 million voters from the Lagos’ voters’ list.
Fashola made the call yesterday during a statewide broadcast to inform residents of the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) expected to begin tomorrow.
He explained that INEC had declared that it would distribute 4.8 million PVCs in Lagos State, whereas, during the last election in 2011, the voters’ list in Lagos was 6.247 million.
According to him, “I am concerned about the report of 4.8 million voters in Lagos State. This is strange; it is surprising and I believe INEC owes the people of Lagos a lot of answers and very quickly too.
“At the conclusion of voters’ registration exercise before the 2011 elections, the number of registered voters in Lagos as announced by INEC itself was 6,247,845. This was an exercise conducted by INEC. This was an exercise where INEC boasted to Nigerian that it has secured an Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to ensure the credibility of the Voters’ Register.
“INEC must explain to us how 1,447,845 voters disappeared, leaving Lagos with only 4,800,000 registered voters.”
Fashola explained that the distribution of PVC indicated that election process has started, urging eligible voters within the age 18 years to use one day to collect their cards to avoid being disenfranchise.
“You have to register as a voter to be eligible to vote. We must take it seriously to make sure our names are in the voters’ register. Go to the polling centre to collect your PVC. No business or job can be more important than to collect your PVC between November 7 and 9. For those who want to collect the PVCs, they should go out and collect them,” he said.
“Let me assert very clearly and categorically that our Government will vigorously stand on the side of every eligible and previously registered voters to have their names back on the voters’ register compiled in 2011, unless INEC can show legitimate reasons why this should not be so.
“For those of our residents, who did not register at the last election, or who were not 18 years old at the time, but who have now reached that age and who want to register, the first phase of this exercise – which is to issue voters’ card from 7th to 9th of November 2014- is not for you. Because a voter card is only produced from a previously existing register.”
He, however, appealed to those who have not registered before and were within the eligible age and those who were registered and could not find their names to re-register in the second phase, which is for continuous voter’s registration, starting from November 12 to November 17.
The governor also announced Friday as work free day for all public servants to enable them to collect their PVC.[The Nation]