The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday disclosed that only 2.3 million Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) have been collected in Lagos State, appealing to registered voters to go to the various collation centres in the state and collect their cards.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commission, Akin Orebiyi, who made the startling revelation at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Nigeria Police towards a successful conduct of the February general elections, said the state was among those with low turnout in PVC collection.
Orebiyi stated that four million PVCs were made available for the 5.9 million registered voters in the state last year, but only 2.3 million have so far been collected by the owners.
The REC said in order to make the collection exercise easier, INEC has extended distribution points to the 245 collation centres, an improvement on the 20 INEC local government offices that were usually used.
Orebiyi said PVC 139 boxes have been delivered to the state in addition to the four million earlier sent, dismissing allegations of disenfranchisement by the electoral body.
He also called on politicians to ensure that their supporters come forward for the PVCs, noting that INEC has no plan to allow people vote with Temporary Voter’s Cards (TVCs).
He said: “INEC is ready to conduct this election. We have made all necessary preparations and even provided for plan B.
“Let me use this opportunity to apologise to the people on the issue of the PVCs, but here in Lagos, we have had four million PVCs since 2014 for the 5.9 million registered voters, but only 2.3 million have been collected. We have also taken delivery of 139 boxes of PVCs. People have not been coming forward to collect their PVC.
“There are various categories of people affected by the PVC: Those who registered in 2011 and whose PVCs are ready for collection now should go and collect them if they have not.
“For those who registered in 2011, who saw their names on the displayed register at the polling units, their cards will be at the collection centres by next week.
“INEC has not disenfranchised anyone, group, political party or any part of the country. We do not know what party they will vote for or in which part of the country they will be on election days”.