…To recall all uncollected PVCs after February 8
The collection of Permanent Voters Card by Nigerians who heeded the call by the federal government to register ahead of the 2019 General election, has been a major concern for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and so many registrants who have not collected the all important card.
Some electorate who spoke with Education Tell told how they had to bribe INEC officials N1000 in order to collect their PVC.
According to one electorate who graved anonymity, after attempting on several occasions to collect his PVC without success, his friend advised to give the INEC official N1000. The electorate said as soon as the money was given to the official, he got his PVC.
In his words, “I have been going to the PVC collection centre in Dutse Alhaji to try and collect my PVC but every time I went, the queue was too much. At a point I wanted to give up hope of ever collecting the PVC. However, there was this day I complained to my friend about the problem of the collecting the PVC and he told me that I don’t need to suffer myself.
“My friend told me how he was able to collect his own PVC after he gave one of the officials N1000. So the next time I went to the collection centre, I signaled one of the officials who came to me and I gave him N1000. He collected my details and asked me to come back after a few hours. As soon as I came back he had my PVC waiting for me.
“When some people who were on the queue wanted to complain, the official told them that I had been on the queue but took permission to go and collect something. That was how I collected my PVC.
The man also said that he has been advising his friends to give INEC officials N1000 if they want to collect their PVC without much frustration.
This development may explain why many electorate have not collected their PVC. It is either they have been frustrated and stopped trying to collect it or they could not afford the money need to grease the palm of the INEC officials in charge of issuing the cards.
Meanwhile, INEC has disclosed that all Permanent Voters Cards not collected by their owners by February 8, about a week to the presidential election, will be kept in ‘quarantine’ in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The commission’s Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, who made this known to the media, said he wondered why their owners had not collected them.
“The reports from different states indicate that many Nigerians have collected their Permanent Voters Cards. Most Nigerians are aware that the commission registered a total of 84, 004,084 eligible voters.
“Out of this number 14, 283,734 million were registered during the Continuous Voters’ Registration. The collection of PVCs is still on and will go on till February 8. Thereafter, the commission will recall all uncollected PVCs and keep them in quarantine with the Central Bank of Nigeria and they will remain there till the elections are over.
“It is difficult to give the exact number of PVCs that have been collected so far. The collection of PVCs is still taking place in the 774 local government areas. After the February 8, 2019 deadline, the commission will recall all uncollected PVCs and give an account of the number collected and the number yet to be collected.
“Nigerians will be informed about the PVC collection data and the commission is committed to a transparent process. We urge Nigerians to approach INEC offices in their LGAs and collect their PVCs,” Okoye said.
The INEC chief who was asked how many PVCs had yet to be collected and what INEC was doing to address the situation, said, “The commission has insisted and will continue to insist that registered voters must collect their PVCs personally and there will not be collection by proxy.
“The commission printed 14, 283,734 million voter cards for new registrants and printed replacement cards for those that lost their voter cards and those whose cards are defaced.”
According to him, INEC had a consolidated register with a total of 84, 004,084 registered voters, adding that since it was a huge database of registered voters, the commission had done well in registering Nigerians.
“The law provides the period for those that want to change their polling units to do so. The PVCs of these category of persons are different. They must comply with the provisions of the law before they will be cleared to move to new polling units.”