A group of identical twins and other people of multiple births in the country have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene by stopping what they described as “the mass discrimination against them by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s biometric system.”
The group said at least 1,000 sets of identical twins in the country have been denied Permanent Voter Cards due to the inability of the INEC’s biometric machines to distinguish their identities.
Joint presidents of United Twins and Multiple Births for Transformation in Nigeria, Akpos Mamuzee-Dixon and Andos Mamuzee-Dixon, on Thursday addressed journalists on the issue in Abuja on Thursday.
The press conference was attended by several other sets of twins, who said they were facing similar challenge. Akpos and Andos, who are musicians and actors, said Akpos has received his PVC, while Andos was not given because of the inability of INEC’s biometric machine to distinguish them.
In a letter dated November 25 and addressed to the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, the twins threatened to institute a N1bn lawsuit against INEC “if within 14 days from the date of your receipt of this letter, you fail (or) refuse to carry out our modest demands.”
“When we got to the point of our registration in Wuse Zone 7, Akpos presented his Temporary Voter Card, and they found his name on the list and they gave him his PVC. But when it was my turn, they said they could not find my name on the list despite providing my temporary card. They asked to search for my name in other centers. We did but we could not find my name,” Andos said.
They also said each or both of many sets of twins in the country have not received their PVCs and would likely be disenfranchised if urgent steps were not taken.
The group therefore called on INEC to immediately give Andos and others so affected, their PVC to enable him perform his fundamental and civil obligation as enshrined in Section 12(1) of the Electoral Act, 2011.
In the letter written on their behalf by Mike Ozekhome’s law firm, the twins also demanded N20m as compensation for the trauma, psychological depression and feeling of societal rejection they had been made to pass through with the denial of Ando’s PVC.
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