You are here
Home > HEADLINES > Lagosians in last-minute rush as voter registration ends

Lagosians in last-minute rush as voter registration ends

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Lagos residents trooped to registration centres across the state on Friday in a last-minute rush to beat the deadline as the Continuous Voter Registration drew to a close, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission had said that it would suspend the exercise on August 31, until after the 2019 elections.

The suspension, earlier fixed for August 17, was moved till August 31 to allow more people to register.

At centres visited on Friday, residents seeking to register in order to beat the deadline shared their experiences.

At INEC office in Ikotun/Igando Local Council Development Area, a News Agency Nigeria correspondent reports that eligible voters had besieged the registration centre as at 7am.

READ ALSO: You are on your own, Buhari tells Nigerian illegal migrants

Mr Olugbenga Ogundayo, a civil servant, told NAN that he was at the centre at 5pm on Thursday and INEC officials gave him number 182 to come back on Friday for registration.

According to him, this was because they (the officials) already had many people in the queue to register on Thursday.

“As a worker, it is not easy for me to leave my work and come for the registration. Many times, l had come here after close of work and they would say they have closed for the day.

I have been on queue since 6:30am with the number they gave me yesterday. They are yet to start calling us in for the exercise.

I am praying they attend to me today; if not, INEC will have to extend this exercise so that many of us, especially workers, can be registered,” Ogundayo said.

A businesswoman, Mrs Romoke Akanji, told NAN that the long queue had persisted in the last two weeks and she could not stand the rigour.

“The suffering is too much.  I just said let me come and try my luck this morning, and as at 7:20am, they gave me number 480 in the queue.

I am still wondering how long I will wait here because I have lost hope of being registered. We are begging them to extend the registration so that many of us can be captured,” she said.

A trader, Miss Francisca Esione, claimed that one registration centre in Ikotun/Igando could not cater for the large number of residents.

“I had been here three times before now, and today I have been here since morning; you can see the crowd.

“What they have been doing in this centre is to register about 150 to 200 people; after that, they will stop for the day and ask us to go.

”They should just help us extend this registration and also create more centres so that we do not have to travel far,  ” she said.

NAN also discovered that as at 9am when INEC officials were calling people in for registration, the last person in the queue was number 618.

An INEC official at the centre, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the centre began registration at 9am and closed by 5pm and would only attend to people in the queue.

“We register about 250 to 300 people a day but you know since the exercise is closing today,  people are coming out in their numbers because many Nigerians like to wait for the last minute.

As you can see, we are calling them in by their numbers because the crowd is too much; it is the best way to control the crowd and make our work easy,” he said.

NAN reports that hundreds of residents in Mushin Local Government Area also joined the last-minute rush. Some shared their experiences in interviews with NAN at the Alaba Primary School, Mushin.

One of them, Mr Idris Olubiyi, said he had been coming to the registration centre since Monday but had yet to be registered.

“I have been coming here everyday since Monday;  this exercise is not well organised, I have not registered despite my eagerness to do so; it is very frustrating,’’ he said.

Ms Funmilayo Daniel, a student, said she had been there since 6am to be registered.

She said that she would not be able to vote in 2019 if the registration closed.

An octogenarian, Pa Oluwole Adeoye, told NAN at the centre that he had been there since 5am.

Mrs Gbemisola Alalade, another resident, said she wrote her name on the list since 6am, and was waiting to be called by the officials to collect a  form to fill.

“The process is very slow at this centre, I was here on Wednesday and Thursday but I was told that the equipment are down so I had to go home in frustration,” she said.

Alalade said there was pressure because some workers, especially in the private sector, may not have been given permission to go for registration during working days.

In Epe, residents also trooped out to collect their permanent voter cards and also to register at the collection centre.

A NAN correspondent saw a long queue of residents waiting to register.

A student, Mr AbdulRasheed Mayowa, who successfully registered at the centre, told NAN that he was satisfied.

“I had been in the queue since 6:30am before I was attended to.

“It is a huge sacrifice, but I have to make it, so as to cast my vote for my choice candidate, “he said.

Mrs Kareem Moriam, a tailor in Epe, told NAN that the exercise was slow, as the computer was not functioning properly.

“Today will make it the third time I have been coming to the centre for registration.

“It is only one computer they are using in this centre.

“I am yet to be registered, but I won’t leave the premises until I am registered,” she said.

Another resident, Mr Festus Yomi, told NAN that it required patience to be registered.

“I came today for the first time and I have registered.

“Although, during the exercise, the network was fluctuating, I was able to register.  It is a matter of patience,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC has slated Presidential and National Assembly elections for Feb. 16, 2019 while gubernatorial and state assembly elections are scheduled for March 2, 2019.


(Visited 112 times, 112 visits today)
Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply