Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nigeria: Protesters storm INEC office, demand election postponement

A group of Nigerian youths not favourably disposed to going ahead with this month’s general elections,due to the inability of many registered voters to collect their Permanent Voter Cards,PVCs, protested to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday,to demand postponment.
The group, under the aegis of Forum for Democratic Change,FDC, led by its National coordinator, Solomon Chuks, said going ahead with the election this month,will disenfranchise Nigerians.
Chucks,who presented the group’s protest letter to the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, insisted that going ahead with the polls will deny many Nigerians their constitutional rights to choose their preferred leaders through ballot.
“The PVC which is supposed to be one of the instruments of votes has not been fully separated around Nigeria.
“Those people who actually remain under scorching sun to sign their names for these PVCs have not gotten these things, yet elections are fast approaching,”he said.
He said the action of the group was the demonstration of its anger against the commission to effectively and successfully distribute the items to their legitimate owners before the commencement of the polls,asking INEC to shift the elections so that it can take care of the situation before the elections commence.
He said: “I want to correct one impression. This is not a protest. It is a procession to register the grievances of the Nigerian masses as regards the coming election. The Nigerian masses believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well.”
They chanted for the polls postponement citing the challenges in the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) distribution and avoiding injustice to the large number of Nigerians who could not get their PVCs.
The group, which met at the Unity Fountain, in Abuja, matched to the INEC headquarters, holding banners and placards that advocate for the election postponement.
Some of the placards raised by the marching youths had inscriptions such as: “An injustice to one is an injustice to all; “INEC do the right thing”; “We demand for the extension of election to allow Nigerians exercise their franchise”; “Election is for general participation, not for selective few”;Don’t disenfranchise Nigerians” among others.

-Vanguard (Ng)

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