The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mutiu Agboke, has revealed that a total number of 756,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) are yet to be claimed by their owners in the state.
The REC after announcing the figure then appealed to owners of the PVCs to visit the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) offices close to them to collect their PVC before the August 17 deadline.
Agboke made the appeal during a visit to the office of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, in Ibadan, the state capital.
The REC said that the commission was concerned that the huge number of PVCs remained unclaimed ahead of the 2019 general election.
“We have been reaching out to major stakeholders in the state, such as traditional rulers and the House of Assembly lawmakers, among others, in our bid to ensure a successful general election next year.
“We are not pleased that we still have 756,000 PVCs yet to be claimed by their owners. This is why we are appealing to the owners of these cards to visit our offices across the state to collect their PVC,” he said.
Ajimobi in response said the state government would declare work-free hours for workers across the state to collect their PVCs in the last week of the registration exercise.
“We will do everything humanly possible to encourage our people to collect their PVCs before the general election, including declaring work-free hours for civil servants in the last week of the voter registration exercise.
“When you say our people are not collecting their PVCs and they are also complaining of not meeting INEC staff at the designated centres or that the machines are not working properly, then you need to look into this.
“We have to look into ways of addressing these issues. We have informed local government chairmen to mobilise and make the exercise easy for the people. This must necessarily be done in conjunction with INEC officials.”
Ajimobi also urged the REC to ensure that the 2019 election was free and fair by putting up a system that would engender trust among the stakeholders.