By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
…No Bias In Registration, Says Electoral Umpire
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ekiti State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of collaborating with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the electorate, perceived to be opposing the candidate of the party, the opportunity to get Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
SDP claimed to have proof that some electorate were being intimidated or forced to leave INEC office if they would not wear the insignia of the candidate in question.
Its spokesman, Gani Salau, stated, yesterday, that some APC chieftains had been indulging in the ugly practice in cahoots with INEC officials, since the beginning of the exercise.
Salau said: “This ugly development of ‘No Biodun Oyebanji cap, no registration’ at the INEC office further buttresses our conclusion that INEC, which is expected to be an electoral umpire, as we prepare for the forthcoming gubernatorial election, has not acquitted itself.
SDP also accused the ruling APC of hiring people from neighbouring states of Kogi, Kwara, Osun and Ondo to participate in the registration of voters in the state without check from INEC and security agencies.
“We hereby call on the security agents in the state, as a matter of urgency, to stop this undemocratic act going on at the INEC office here in Ado Ekiti and ensure that the perpetrators of this act are brought to book,” he added.
However, the Public Relations Officer of INEC in Ekiti, Morake Odebunmi, denied the allegations, saying the commission was committed to registering all eligible voters in the state without any form of discrimination.
Odebunmi explained that officials of INEC across the 177 political wards conducting the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise are friendly to potential voters, calling on the people to disregard the allegation and go for their registration.
She said: “Registration is for everybody, and those people they are mentioning are only mobilising for registration. Everybody is allowed to register. People should go to the wards and register without any form of harassment.
“There is no sentiment in the CVR registration. So, INEC is not biased and we are not stopping people from registering. The allegation should be disregarded.”
Credit: The GUARDIAN.