Mixed feelings at Lagos PVC collection centres

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LAGOS – Many Lagos residents on Saturday turned out Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection centres across the state for collection of their cards.
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Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited some wards in the state report that the residents had different experiences at various centres.
In Surulere Local Government Area, NAN correspondents report that eligible voters seeking their PVCs were many at Enitan Primary School, Ijeshatedo.
Some of the people who spoke with NAN, however, said they had been unable to locate their cards.
One of them, Mr Idowu Rasak said that he registered with his wife and two children in the same ward but could not find his name on the list.
“I registered here with my wife and two children who are above 18 years. We found my children’s names but my wife and I cannot find our names on the list,’’ he said.
Rasak said the collection exercise was frustrating and expressed hope that he and his wife would not be disenfranchised.
A printer, Mr Greg Nwosu, also said he had visited the centre more than three times but the INEC official could not find his card.
“I am eager to get the permanent voter card, not only because I would want to perform my civic right during election, but as a national identity.
“But it is very unfortunate that they cannot find my card after waiting for two hours today, “he said.
At Erinosho Primary School, Itire, residents were seen picking numbers in order of arrival and waiting patiently for the INEC officials to arrive for the issuance of the PVCs.
INEC officials eventually came at about 10.30a.m and commenced distribution based on the numbers picked.
At noon, an official of INEC told NAN that over 20 cards were already distributed.
At Kadara Primary School, Oyingbo, in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, residents who trooped to the distribution centre were seen awaiting the arrival of INEC officials at noon.
NAN also observed that many residents were trooping in to find out their distribution centres while an official of the local government was directing them to the appropriate centres.
At Ijero Junior Girls High School, also in Lagos Mainland LGA, Mrs Happiness Osunwa said that it was disappointing that she had been unable to collect her card.
“The only time I am free is on weekends, and I have been here for over three hours and nobody is available to distribute the cards,’’ she told NAN around 1.00p.m.
Mr Ayoade Ismail, who was also at the centre, also told NAN, “over 100 people have been here as at 1pm but the INEC officials were not yet available due to the misinformation on the monthly environmental sanitation.’’
NAN reports that there was a crowd at Ijora Oloye Primary School, at Apapa Local Government Area as people came in for their cards.
At Ireti Primary School, Ireti Street, in the same LGA, people were also seen coming in for their PVCs in readiness for the forthcoming elections.
Miss Yetunde Aina, who just turned 18 years old, expressed excitement over the collection of her card with which she could cast her vote.
“I’m so happy that finally I can contribute to the political affairs in my country,” she said
At Saint Theresa Primary School, Mr George Enefola, a trader, said that it was a good thing that the INEC had decided to continue the distribution in February.
According to him, it is the only way to ensure all registered voters are able to get their cards and vote.
At Muslim College in Alimosho Local Government Area, Mr Taiwo Ogunbanwo, a trader, told NAN that he was at the centre before 8:am because he knew there would be many people there.
“But surprisingly, at about 1:pm, we were told the machine was too hot to boot, I had collected mine though, but as you can see, there are lots of people still waiting to collect,’’ he said.
Mr Onyeka Metu, a businessman, told NAN at Alimosho Grammar School that the process was time consuming.
“The collection process is a real struggle, it is tiring. They should take the card to the polling units to make it easier.
“Let INEC device a means to reduce this kind of crowding, it is not easy,’’ Metu said.
A nursing mother at the same ward, Mrs Tina Fayemo said she had waited for hours without success but her husband was in the crowd struggling to get his card.
Mr Nelson, Akpan told NAN that he had been unable to get his PVC.
Akpan said: “It is not easy, I don’t know why Alimosho’s case is like this.’’
However, Mr Ralman Badmus, who got the card, said it was a big struggle to do so.
“It is a war front, my clothes got torn before I got it, it is a struggle. I got here at 8:30 am and this is 3:00pm, many people I met here are still there struggling,’’ Badmus said.
Mr Tosin Gbolahan, who also collected his card, said: “It was not easy to get it, I had to struggle hard since morning when I got here.’’
Also, Mr Jacob Mulikatu, said that he had almost given up on collecting the PVC after struggling for many times.
“It is stressful; I had resolved not to pursue it again, until my son persuaded me to come here. My legs are paining me, it is not easy,’’ Mulikatu said.
NAN reports that at Alimosho Primary School, a notice pasted directed people to other centres.
The notice also urged those who registered in December 2014 to check back in the first week in February.
NAN reports that INEC had said it was still expecting some cards but assured that all registered voters would be able to get their PVCs before the elections, which start on Feb. 14 .(NAN)