Tuesday, 15 July 2014

OsunDecides2014: How INEC denies plan to rig Osun election for PDP

The Independent National Electoral Commission has denied claims by the All Progressives Congress that its Osun State members are being prevented from collecting their Permanent Voter Cards. The APC had on Monday accused the INEC of denying its members their PVCs, describing it as “a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them” in the forthcoming governorship election in the state. However, responding to the allegation, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, told our correspondent that the party’s statement was not true. “I do not understand what they mean. How does INEC distinguish members of one party from another?” Idowu asked. He added, “As we have repeatedly said, distribution of PVCs has been ongoing in Osun State since March. People yet to collect their PVCs should go to their respective local government offices of the commission to do so.” In a statement issued on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC also claimed that the INEC had resorted to asking those who visited the state’s INEC offices to pick up their PVCs which party they belonged to. The APC spokesperson said all the party members who went to designated areas to pick up their cards were told their PVCs were not ready. He said, “This is nothing but systematic rigging from source.” The electoral body also denied this accusation, urging the APC to provide evidence of such “systematic rigging from source.” Idowu said, “If they have proof of any INEC official making that request, they should please report him or her to the headquarters because it is illegal (to make such request). Party membership is not a requirement for voter registration and INEC has not made it one. The party also challenged the INEC leadership to “wade into the delay in the distribution of PVCs in Osun, since it was possible that this planned disenfranchisement of APC members might be the handwork of some compromised INEC officials in the state.” “If INEC cannot ensure that all prospective voters in the state will get their PVCs before the August 9 election, the electoral commission should do the needful by allowing all those who can present their temporary voter cards to exercise their franchise on election day.

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