BusinessDay

INEC laments 160,966 uncollected PVCs in Kogi

…says court did not order Commission to resume registration

Hale Gabriel Longpet, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kogi State, has lamented that there were over 160,966 uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in the state ahead of the 2023 general election.

Longpet, who disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, said that voters in Kogi State were expected to be 1.9million which include those who registered between 2019 and June 2022, adding that 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.

He pointed out that 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 uncollected.

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“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.

“However, we are under strict order at all state offices of INEC. From today 6th December, we have started sensitising people, engaging Civil Society Organisations, Media to start helping people to come and collect their PVCs,” he said.

The Kogi REC used the opportunity to debunk the news making the rounds that a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria had ordered INEC to resume registration of voters ahead of the election.

“We discussed this in Lagos during the INEC stakeholders’ meeting. There is no court that asked INEC to resume the registration of voters. It is all false and should be disregarded by the public,” he said.

While assuring Nigerians that the Commission is ready for a transparent, free and fair election, Longpet noted that the introduction of BVAS by INEC has gone a long way to reducing electoral malpractice.