INEC Laments 7.8m Unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards

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Olumide Lawal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disclosed that 7.8 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) produced prior to the 2015 general elections were still uncollected.

The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed the number of uncollected PVCs on Thursday at a meeting with Civil Society Organisations in Abuja, explained that of the uncollected PVCs, Lagos had the highest with 1.4 million, followed by Oyo with 700,000 and Edo, 540,000.

Yakubu stated that Ogun State has the least of uncollected PVCs while Bauchi and Zamfara have the highest rate in collection.

According to him, there are some we have not printed from the last general elections; so, we are meeting some stakeholders next week in this regard to settle it.

“The commission is still reiterating its advice that collection of PVCs by proxy is not allowed. So we are working out ways to ensure that people collect their PVCs before the next elections and those who are of age now can also come for their registration from April.”

He noted that some of the measures the commission was weighing were to either to collaborate with the National Lottery Commission to attach an incentive to the collection of the PVCs.

Yakubu said that one million cards were distributed after the 2015 elections and was looking at better ways to make the distribution more effective.

He disclosed that during the nationwide registration slated for April, people who wished to transfer their voting points to other states or places could do so.

Ahead of the Anambra State governorship He, however, said that the commission would conduct a continuous voter registration in Anambra to enable new voters to participate in the November governorship poll in the state.

The chairman said that 2019 will be a challenging year for the commission because there would be many elections, ranging from presidential to governorship, which would involve 29 seats.

He added that there would be 109 senatorial constituencies’ elections, 360 federal consistencies and 991 state assembly polls.

Yakubu said that INEC would also conduct the FCT Area Council elections for 68 positions and end the year with the Kogi and Bayelsa elections involving 1, 560 constituencies.

He, therefore, explained that fixing of the election dates ahead was to help the commission to plan and to also give the nation a sense of certainty in elections dates.

“People need to know because it allows us to plan; it is consistent with the Constitution and the Electoral Act. It is consistent with what we should do based on common sense and the enormous planning for the elections.”

Earlier, Convener of the meeting, Clement Nwankwo, commended INEC for the early release of the 2019 elections dates.

This he said would make for proper planning, breed a “no excuse political atmosphere’’ for free and transparent election in the country.

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