Kogi State: Electoral Umpire extends Deadline for PVCs Collection
Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja.
The Kogi State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the period for the collection of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) from December 12, 2022 to January 22, 2023.
The move is geared towards increasing public response to the PVCs’ collection in Kogi state, North-Central Nigeria despite the electoral umpire’s persistent calls on the citizens to come forward for the PVCs, few months to the general elections.
According to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi State, Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet, about 250,000 PVCs have been issued but are still awaiting collection by voters in the local government offices of the INEC in Kogi state.
Dr. Longpet expressed worry about the poor rate of PVCs collection in the state as about 160,966 uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCS) are still with the state’s INEC.
He disclosed this at a meeting of Media and Civil Society stakeholders in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital:
“Kogi state has about 1.9 million registered voters, but has not improved significantly in PVC registration and rate of collection ratios based on INEC’S data on the voters cards distribution and collection figure.
“As at 2nd of December 2022, out of 154,984 voters’ cards which were produced for voters who registered in 2019, only 13,689 were collected while 141, 295 have not collected their 2019 voters’ cards.
“For the fresh registration between 2021 and June 2022, the commission expected 38,505 people to come and collect their permanent voters’ cards, but unfortunately, 18,924 voters have collected their PVCs while 19,671 are yet to be collected.
“I have always used every opportunity to express my displeasure over the poor collection of PVCs in Kogi State.
“We have 32,508 people who transferred their PVCs from one polling unit to another.
“But so far, we have seen only 5,977 who have come to collect those transferred PVCs.
“And you will agree with me that it is not an encouraging figure.”
The Resident Electoral Commissioner implored the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the state to take the INEC’s message to the public on the need for improved turnout for collection of the PVCs.
“We have started sensitizing people, engaging Civil Society Organizations and the Media to start helping people to come and collect their PVCs.
“While we hope for improvement in the rate of PVCs collection in the state, we beg the good people of Kogi state who have not yet collected, to please come out in large number to collect their PVCs without further delay within the period of extension in our collective interest for participatory democracy, free and credible elections which is dependent on use of our PVCs,” Dr. Longpet appealed.
He assured Nigerians that the INEC is prepared to deliver transparent, free and fair elections devoid of electoral manipulation with the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines.
This, he further said, would bring an end to electoral malpractice.