From Anthonia Nwobi (HOD VEP, Cross Rivers), Ayodele Folami (HOD VEP, Oyo) and Sade Akinbo-Omole (Head, Publicity Unit, Ogun)
22 May, 2018.
Scores of Nigerians who participated in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise between April and December 2017 showed up at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) offices nationwide on Monday to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
From Zamfara to Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Cross Rivers, Anambra, Sokoto and other states, the story is the same as Nigerians enthusiastically completed all formalities for the collection of their cards, with many of them commending the Commission for fulfilling its promise.
Reports from Zamfara showed that many registered voters turned up at INEC’s local government offices in the state and were seen collecting their cards after signing the relevant forms.
According to the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) in Cross Rivers State, Mrs. Anthonia Nwobi, the exercise took off smoothly in all the state’s 18 local government offices of the Commission on Monday. Speaking shortly before the commencement of the PVC collection, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Frankland Briyai said the exercise was in fulfillment of the Commission’s promise to all those who registered between April and December 2017 that their PVCs would be ready in May.
To the REC, the action was an indication of the Commission’s preparedness for the 2019 general elections.
He called on all those who registered in the state during the period to report at INEC Area Offices in the local government areas to collect their PVCs. He disclosed that the collection will be conducted alongside the CVR in all the councils from Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in Cross Rivers, who was represented by the Secretary, Mr. Paddy Ally, emphasized the importance of the PVC and advised the people to safeguard their cards
In his goodwill message, the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA), Calabar Municipal Council, Mr. Augustine Ngaji commended INEC for abiding by the May deadline it had promised for the release of the PVCs.
In Oyo State, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mutiu Agboke revealed that a consignment of 141,362 PVCs had been received. According to a statement signed by the Head of Department, VEP, Mr. Ayodele Folami, Barrister Agboke stated that the cards were meant for Nigerians who registered between April and December 2017, those who requested for transfer or lost their cards, including those whose cards were defaced.
The REC added that voters in some polling units in Afijio Ibadan North and Ibadan North East Local Government Areas, whose PVCs were not printed before the 2015 general elections, should visit their respective local government INEC offices for collection.
He assured fresh registrants that the Commission would not disenfranchise any qualified Nigerian, just as he appealed to voters to protect and prevent their cards from being damaged or stolen.
In Ogun State, the Head of Department, VEP, Mrs. Adenike Tadese disclosed that a total of 119,592 PVCs were received there.
According to the Head of Publicity Unit, INEC Ogun State, Mrs. Sade Akinbo-Omole, Mrs. Tadese made the revelation on Monday during a bi-lingual live and phone-in programme aired by Ogun State Television (OGTV).
Mrs. Tadese also averred that an additional 5,211 PVCs were being awaited to make up for the 124,803 voters who registered in 2017.
She assured those who registered or applied for replacement or transfer in 2018 that they would also get their PVCs before the 2019 General Elections.
She called on the registrants to report in person at the relevant INEC offices in all the state’s 20 local government areas between 9:00am and 3pm daily, adding that there will be no collection by proxy.