1.4m PVCs still uncollected in Lagos, says Fashola


• Faults Agbaje on Lekki-Epe road toll

GOVERNOR Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State has appealed to residents to pick up their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that no fewer than 1.4 million were still uncollected.

   Fashola, at the state-wide All Progressives Congress (APC) rally at Ifako-Ijaye yesterday, said the PVCs are very strategic if people must have a say in the coming elections. He told party faithful that about 3.6 million PVCs were brought to the state, out of which about 2.2 million had so far been collected.

   According to him, another window of opportunity would open today for residents without cards to go and collect their PVCs as INEC returns them to the polling units. The collection exercise will run from today till Sunday.

   The governor told the people that all projects around the Ifako-Ijaye area – the Maternal and Child Centre (MCC), two new schools and Yaya Abatan Street, among others – were made possible by their votes and taxes, adding that all complaints about the Federal Government and mismanagement of the economy would only end when citizens collect their PVCs and vote in the coming elections.

   Meanwhile, he faulted the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, over his threat to stop tolls on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, saying it showed that the PDP candidate is inexperienced.

   He told a stakeholders’ meeting with Lagos taxi and cab operators (yellow and modern) in Ikeja that the issue goes beyond cancellation of toll but touches on the bank loans and construction expenses on the road.

   He also used the occasion to present to them the APC gubernatorial candidate, Akinwunmi Akinbode, urging them to subscribe to the universal license scheme being put in place for taxi drivers to ensure a revolution in the business and guarantee them profit and respect.

   The outgoing governor promised to reduce the entry age of cabs from five to 12 years, with a caveat that they must be certified roadworthy by the relevant authority.

   In another development, Fashola questioned the place of traditional religion in national and international affairs in the contemporary society. 

   Delivering an address at the 2015 Law and Religion Conference in Nigeria, with the theme, “Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa,” he observed that traditional religion, which is a recognised form of worship in the country, seems subjected to discrimination, wondering why it is not included in national affairs. 

   The governor, who was represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, highlighted religion as a fundamental basis and aspect of African culture, noting that Africa as a continent accommodates all shades of religious belief unlike, other geographical areas.

   The one-week conference is jointly organised by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, the University of Lagos, the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos and Ikeja branches), African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, South Africa, and the International Centre for Law and Religion Studies of Brigham Young University, United States.

   On his part, the chief host and Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Rahamon Adisa Bello, expressed hope that the international conference would interrogate issues of religion, law and state affairs so as to address religious intolerance, which is now rearing its head.

   Equally, Ambode urged the electorate not to sell their PVCs, saying: “We have heard that dollars are being distributed in exchange for PVCs. I will say collect it, it is your money, but don’t give them your cards. 

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