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SDP tackles INEC over polling agents’ tags shortage

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ogun State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failure in the provision of polling agents’ tags…

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ogun State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failure in the provision of polling agents’ tags which led to the party’s inability to monitor elections in over 1500 polling units during the presidential and National Assembly election.

The State Chairman, Yinka Ola Williams, said this during a press conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Williams expressed worry that over 75 percent of the SDP polling agents’ tags were not released by the INEC, just as the commission barred the party agents from monitoring elections.

He said polling agents’ tags from some LGs like Ifo, Sagamu, Ipokia, Ogun Waterside, were not released outrightly.

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He said the party had written a letter to the INEC through the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niyi Ijalaye, but there was neither remedy done to address the lapses nor a response to the complainant.

“On Election day most of our agents were driven away. What is even more annoying is that, in a local government when we are supposed to have 173 agent tags, only 90 were given to us. On the day of election we realized that, out of 90 tags given to us, only 20 were useful because they bear the code of other States.”

“Even our agents with tags carrying SDP, they were still not allowed to monitor the election. Out of the ones they gave us, we saw tags of APC, PDP and other parties. We don’t want to say that, it was deliberate on the part of INEC to stop our members from monitoring the election.

“As a party, we have the right to monitor the election. Every party has the right. If the majority of our agents cannot monitor what happens on Saturday it is not good,” he said.

The party warned INEC to resolve the lapses in order to avoid a recurrence in the Saturday’s gubernatorial and House of Assembly election.

Responding, the REC, Niyi Ijalaye said the challenge was due to the party’s inability to supply full names of its polling agents during the online registration.

Ijalaye said the tags issue was applicable to all the political parties because “not a single party submitted the full complement during the online registration.”

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