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By Abideen Muhammed

It has been gathered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who has been charged with the responsibility of issuing Permanent Voters Card (PVC) for the not too far 2019 National Election are making life difficult for the masses. Apart from the incompetence of the officers, shortage of man power and insufficient infrastructure; corruption and bribery in the system is another hindrance to the success of the system.

No wonder Imam Abdullah said: The problem with our nation is traced to the endless corruption, repeated violation of people’s rights and the culture of impunity that have permeated the social, political and economic spheres of our country.
Consistently, incompetent leaders have been foisted on us and at all times we have also accepted with criminal pacifism. This is the time to tell the political and economic looters bestriding this nation that enough is enough. It is either they hang up now and continue or we make them pay for the devastations they have visited on this nation.

Two citizens identified as Mr Bamiro and Umm Maryam in Ojo Local Government angrily registered INEC failure and corruption on 16th August, 2018 in a WhatsApp group.

“At Igbede INEC Unit in Ojo Local government/Otto Awori LCDA, the populace are requested to pay 400 for collection of Permanent Voters Card. This is evil, this is corruption and this undermine our Democratic process as Independent Sovereign state”, Mr Bamiro posted.

Jimi Disu also retweeted another complain from a citizen who encountered similar experience at Festac. She blamed the police for their I don’t care attitude: “I experience this and it is so bad. At the Festac @inecnigeria center they were taking bribes to help people register. I felt so hopeless for our country. This is just collection of PVC, what would happen when the actual voting is taking place? And there were police men there!”

INEC in some centers is becoming a problem rather than solution to this nation. They indulge in practices that is capable of stirring religious crises in a country that still suffers religious discrimination. More so, they tend to favor one religious body against others in the next election by their religious bigotry and zealousness. Not even when some have seen the next election as a religious battle, APC as Muslim while PDP as christian with respect to their candidate.

This concern was raised by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a press statement released early on Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018.

“We wrote INEC’s head office in Lagos in 2003 when Muslim males were being asked to remove their caps and turbans while the women were asked to remove their hijab before they could be registered for the national identity card scheme. The head office did nothing until we were forced to march on the streets to their office. Is INEC also daring us? It had better not be because we can march again”.

“How can INEC allow Muslims to be treated like second hand citizens? We are disappointed. Is the system ready to integrate Muslims at all? Can the Nigerian nation enjoy peace where a large religious group is constantly marginalized and oppressed? Havent we had enough religious crisis? Should certain public officers take actions capable of precipitating religious violence?”.

In Mafoluku center, Ajibulu Primary School the neighbors complained bitterly of the nasty behavior of the officials. “The newly transferred officials to our center are very lazy. They sometimes open by 10am or 11am instead of 9am and when they come, professional misconduct is not far from them”.

While in Oshodi center, Owoseni Primary school issue of favorism is the problem. People wake up as early as 4AM to go to the center. Unfortunately, when INEC officials get there, they partially use the list and largely register those they referred to as VIP.

Generally, these among other corrupt practices are being operated in those centres examined above and virtually all other centers. This is nothing but the failure of INEC.

Abideen Muhammed Ayomide is a campus journalist at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and can be reached via muhammedabdsalam@gmail.com

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