Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Monday, Nov 10th 2014 received members of the Nucleus Group (TNG) on a peaceful protest march to the Governor’s Office, Alausa over the shoddy handling of the distribution of Permanent Voters’ Cards in the State, calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the exercise.
He said findings showed on Friday when the exercise was supposed to kick off that INEC officials were nowhere to be found in the 11 Local Governments where it was supposed to be held thus wasting the first eight hours despite the work free day declared by the State Government.
Prominent among those who attended the event where members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Idiat Adebule, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Ademorin Kuye, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba and Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Dr Taofeek Folami amongst others.
He added that on the second day, which was Saturday, INEC officials did not surface until around 2pm in majority of the collection centres even though the INEC later announced an extension of the exercise for that day by an hour.
Governor Fashola maintained that from the above scenario, it is very obvious that out of the projected 24 hours in three days, a densely populated State like Lagos State has been shortchanged by above 12 hours which may lead to disenfranchisement of many eligible voters.
The Governor insisted that INEC has no excuse for not getting the exercise right and that the only option available to the agency is to get it right and do the needful, adding that it always has the grace of four years to prepare for the exercise, wondering what fate would have befallen Nigerians if INEC was the agency responsible for managing the aviation industry with thousands of flights to handle daily.
“From now on, Nigerians must stop accepting poor quality service from our agencies or bodies. If you cannot do it satisfactorily, get out of the place. We have been managing things for too long”, he added.
He urged all residents of the State to maintain the peace as they go about their normal businesses, asking everyone to wait and see what the next pronouncement of INEC would be by Tuesday on the PVC distribution exercise.