As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) extend deadline for the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards to Sunday, March 22, the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has insisted that alien cards were brought to the state.
The governor, while speaking on Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state, during his campaign tour of the area faulted the electoral body’s position on the unclaimed cards.
Gov Amosun last month took a protest to the headquarters of the electoral body in the state where he claimed that over 600, 000 alien cards were brought to the state.
But in a swift reaction, the electoral body through its administrative Secretary, Dickson Atiba said the cards were meant for students of higher institutions that have graduated from their schools or security operatives that have been posted outside the state.
But Amosun, while speaking in Ipokia said the electoral body should not take his silence for stupidity, insisting that there were alien cards in the state.
Amosun said the total number of students in the state were not more than 150,000, adding that those who have graduated in the last three years were not more than 30, 000.
He maitained that people go out on a daily basis to search for their cards but were always shown cards that were not familiar with their areas.
He said, “I have been told, there’s a polling unit here in Ipokia where we are, there are cards here. Those cards are not our own. I keep saying it, we are not stupid people. People come here every day, they don’t see their cards and they don’t even know those names. If they know those names, they will quickly tell the people whose cards are there. We know ourselves, those cards are not our own.
“At one point they said it was because we have students. The total number of students is under 150, 000. If you have cards in excess of 600, 000, even all the students are still here. The ones that have graduated, we computed them, they are under 30, 000 in those three years. Assuming all those 30, 000 have left, is 30, 000 the same as over 600, 000? INEC should do their home work well.
“We have refrained from joining issues with them because they are working, they are trying their best but in this case they are not fair to us in Ogun States. We have been quiet before because we believe there are better ways of advancing our grievances, our voice but they are taking our quietness for stupidity now. And we will not allow that to happen. INEC should sort themselves out, we need our cards in Ogun State.”
Governor Amosun had earlier demanded for extention of date for the collection of the cards in Ogun state, saying he was ready to declare a work free day if the cards are available for distribution.
On why he said he was ready for election before the schedules were shifted, Amosun said it wasn’t only Ogun state that was affected then and the distribution has increased in other states except in Ogun.
He said, “They said they are bringing like 425, 000 PVCs, up till now, we are still expecting the cards. If they said Sunday is the last day and the cards are still not available, then there’s a problem.
“So, we will wait and find out again. I am not talking because I am APC. Even if you want to vote for any party, you must have the card and that is why I will not rest until INEC gives us our cards in Ogun State.
“Some people asked me why I said I was ready for the election. We were ready because we realised that as at that time, if heaven was going to fall, it wasn’t going to be Ogun state alone. Lagos was 38 percent, we were 36 percent so many other states were not more than 40 percent, and the highest was above 50 percent. Then why can it be Ogun state now? The odd one out, never!”
But a source in Ogun State INEC who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the remaining cards were yet to be supplied to the state.
The source said Ogun State INEC was on standby and has even dedicated a bus that will pick the cards as soon as there’s green light from the Abuja headquarters.
– DAYO RUFAI