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Polls: Ogun SDP cries out over lack of enough INEC tags for its agents


ABEOKUTA- Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ogun chapter, has accused Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of denying it the opportunity of Saturday’s elections due to insufficient provision of polling tags for its agents across the state.

SDP Chairman in the state, Mr Yinka Williams, made the allegation on Tuesday while briefing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Abeokuta.

According to him, more than 75 per cent of SDP agents were not allowed to monitor the last presidential and National Assembly elections due to insufficient provision of polling tags.

Williams said that in some local governments, such as  Obafemi/Owode, Ifo, Ipokia, Ogun Water Side and Sagamu, no SDP agent was allowed to represent the party because they did have the tags.

He said that the party had written a letter to INEC over the issue, adding, however, that there had not been any response from the commission up till date.

“Immediately we noticed this, we informed INEC that our polling agent tags were not complete. They told us to write a letter, which we did on that same day, 24th of February, 2023.

“On the election day, most of our agents were driven away. What is even more annoying is that in a local government where we were supposed to have 173 agent tags, only 90 were given to us.

“On the day of the presidential election, we realised that out of the 90 tags given to us, only 20 were useful because they were bearing the code of other states,” he said.

The SDP chairman urged INEC to either allow the party to produce tags for its agents for Saturday’s elections or get them produced before the exercise.

“We don’t know what to do now because election is on Saturday. It was stated clearly in the Electoral Act that the work of the INEC is to produce the tags.

“Now that it has failed in that regard, can we produce our own tags? Will it be allowed? What is the solution to it so that what happened during the last election will not repeat itself again?

“As a party, we have right to monitor the election. Every party has the right. If majority of our agents could not monitor what happened during the presidential election, it is not good enough,” he said.

In his reaction, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr  Niyi Ijalaye, told NAN that the fault was from the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Ijalaye, who said that SDP was not the only political parties affected by the situation, added that the commission had to ration the available tags among the parties.

He, however, assured all the political parties that the matter would be addressed before the March 11 election. (NAN)

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