Residents of Benin have called on INEC to deploy more voter enrolment devices in Edo to ease the challenges facing prospective registrants.
The ongoing voter registration in the capital city, it was gathered, was fraught with various constraints.
Peter Osahon, 56, at Oredo INEC office disclosed that he came to obtain a new Permanent Voter Card (PVC), having misplaced a previous one.
“I have been coming here every day for the past one week only for capturing without success. This is because of the large crowd of people here and the slow pace of the process,” said Mr Osahon. “One of the problems is that INEC staff members are using only one machine, which makes the process very slow. If INEC can just add one more machine, the process will be fast.”
A trader at the Mission Road Market, Festus Ogbonnaya, also recounted his frustrations.
“The process is very difficult because of the crowd. Many people want to get the PVC so that they can vote for leaders, who will change the fortune of this country. Last Thursday, the whole of Crook Road, Mission Road Market were closed to enable the traders to go and register,” said Mr Ogbonnaya. “We closed our shops and went to queue for the registration but many of us could not register. I have never been registered before because I lost interest in the electoral process because people’s votes did not count.”
He said he was worried though INEC promised that electorate’ votes would count.
“Unfortunately, I may not be able to vote, if I did not get a PVC before the end of the exercise,” lamented Mr Ogbonnaya.
According to him, additional machines are needed to make the process seamless.
Also, Moses Igbinedion said he was at the INEC office to collect his PVC, having registered in September 2021.
“I came since morning and I do not think it will get to my turn today because of the long queue,” Mr Igbinedion said.
The chairman of Zenith Labour Party, Bishop Akhalamhe, who also decried the slow pace, called on INEC to deploy more machines for the exercise.
“We have sensitised the people on the need to get registered and they have all come out, but there is no machine to capture them,” Mr Akhalamhe.
He blamed the challenge partly on the movement of the machine from one location to another, which left many people confused.
“INEC should tell us whether its problem is the lack of adequate machines or manpower to carry out the exercise so we will know how to help out,” added Mr Akhalamhe.
Source: Peoples Gazette.