Recently, the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC Extended the collection of permanent voter cards PVCs for more Nigerians to be able to vote in next month’s general election.

Despite the extension, 386,000 PVCs are yet to be collected In ondo state, According to INEC.

Radio Nigeria correspondent visited some collection centres in Akure, the capital city takes a look at the process of obtaining the card, the challenges and the turn out of persons with disability for the exercise.

Every Nigerian needs the permanent voter card to be able to vote in next month’s election.

This explains why INEC took collection centres to ward level for easy access by the people.

At ward 11, St Peter’s Oyemekun, Mrs Ayodele Abimbola who received her card after her name was checked described the development as a good way to encourage citizens to participate in the election,
“It is encouraging and very fast ”
Mrs Abimbola mentioned

The case of Mr Ekundayo Amos was however different as his card was not found after thorough searching by INEC officials expressing disappointment over the situation having prepared to be part of the much expected polls

I am very disappointed in INEC for not producing my card ,I came all the way from Alagbaka to get the card at oyemekun a distance with this fuel scarcity palaver ” Amos laments

For Persons with disability, the story seems unpleasant as they complained bitterly about the harsh treatment melted to them by those in charge of PVC Distribution

“We fought the INEC officials before they gave us our PVCs ,they knew we were physically challenged and they insisted we joined the long queue and struggled with others “

Mrs Olabisi Omiyale and Oluwatoyin Omobomi who were both physically challenged said their experinces at ward 5 ,unit 22 ishinigo and ward 3 ,Unit 6 ,Gbogi Akure nothing to write home about calling on INEC to give preferential treatment to persons with disability in the electoral process.

Commenting on the situation, a former chairman, joint Association of persons with disability ,ondo state ,Mr Ewa Emmanuel -Ajayi, a visually impaired man from Iwaro Oka in Akoko Southwest local government area urged INEC to further educate its officers on the need to give special attention to persons with disability without discrimination.

“Alot of people were there on the queue,INEC officials in Iwaro Oka Akoko told me to join the queue because people were plenty ,I had to make a contact to our desk officer in Akure who instructed the local government officer to give attention to persons with disability, The Inec that we know do not treat us this way “Emmanuel -Ajayi laments

Assessing the turn out of Ondo residents for the PVCs collection, the head, INEC’s voter education, publicity, Gender and civil society, Mrs Olufunmike Segun-Osifeso said over 300,000 cards were still in their possession.

To further make the election credible and Transparent, Inec is introducing the use of Bimodal voter Accreditation system, it is an electronic device designed to read permanent Voter cards and authenticate voters using fingerprint .

Some respondents however said they were not aware of this new development.

To bridge this gap, Mrs Folasade Bamigboye of the Kids & Teens Resource Centre, Ondo state stressed the need for INEC to engage stakeholders such as the civil society Organisation to sensitize rural dwellers on BIVAS.

“INEC needed to engaged CSOs to be able to move round rural areas especially Farmsteads for community Engagement to Educate voters “Mrs Bamigboye maintained .

Meanwhile, The Agency of government saddled with the responsibility of educating Nigerians on its policies and programmes, the National Orientation Agency has said sensitisation programmes were ongoing on BIVAS at the grassroots in Ondo state.

Mrs Adelayo Adefolalu is the state director of NOA
“We have been moving round engaging stakeholders in the rural areas of ondo state ,BVAs is to make your votes counts in next year election”.

Political observers are of the opinion that more Nigerians would obtain their voter cards and also get more enlightened on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation system before the election day so as to smoothly elect leaders of their choice who will pilot the affairs of the country for another four years.

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