Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, says that 370,000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCS) were yet be collected by the owners who had registered between 2011 and 2014 during the voters registration exercise.
He also advised politicians to do their homework by reaching out to the electorates as the 2019 elections would be difficult to rig as all results from the polling units would be transmitted electronically to the collation centre.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner who revealed this at the weekend, when the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Imo state council paid him a courtesy call, said that it is worrisome that about 379,000 Permanent Voters Cards are yet to be collected by the people who had done the registration between 2011 and 2014.
His words, “As I speak now we still about 379,000 PVCs that are yet to be collected by the owners who had done their registration between 2011 and 2014 and as a result the commission has to take the PVCs to the various wards across the state and paste the names of those who owns it to come forward and collect them”.
He also disclosed that following the public enlightenment embarked by the commission across the 27 area council of the state that many prospective voters who had attained the voting age and those who had never registered before are now coming out in their large numbers to register for the 2019 general elections.
“Again we discovered that many people are not coming out to register, and to ensure that those who have attained the voting age come to register for the 2019 general elections and for subsequent elections we decided to embark on enlightenment campaign to the council areas of the state to educate the people of the importance of registering for the 2019 and for other future elections. Since then we have witnessed very impressive turn outs at the various wards which is good a thing.
“Adding, why we have to do that is to remove the apathy among people who see it as a waste of time to register because they will tell you that whether the vote or not that the winners are already known and we have told that it is going that way in 2019 and that the only way they can vote who they want is by having a voters card by registering to vote.”
However, Prof. Ezeonu has advised politicians who want to win in 2019 to work hard to convince the electorate saying it is now very difficult to rig elections.
He warned that the era of cloning of PVCs and giving same to their agents to go and vote with it is over, as no one could vote without the card reader which would determine the true owner of the PVCs.