The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says no fewer than 71,462 registered voters in Ebonyi are yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in spite of the sustained enlightenment campaigns in the state.
Prof. Godswill Obioma, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abakaliki at the INEC’s 2018 second quarterly meeting with the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and Civil Society Organisations.
He noted that of the 77,487 PVCs released by the commission’s national headquarters of the 2017 voter registration, only 6,025 of the registered voters had collected their PVCs.
Obioma, however, added that only 400 registered voters had collected their PVCs, out of the total 47,117 unclaimed PVCs from the pre-2017 Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The commissioner, who described the development as worrisome, hoped that the meeting would come up with strategies to speed up distribution and collection of PVCs before the 2019 general elections.
He urged all registered voters in the state yet to collect their PVCs to quickly do so and pledged the commission’s readiness to partner IPAC and CSOs to ensure that all unclaimed PVCs were collected.
He said: “The rate of PVCs collection in the state from 2011, 2014 and 2016 registration has been very low.
“Out of the 47,117 unclaimed voter cards before 2017, only 400 PVCs have been collected.
“INEC national headquarters recently released a total of 77,487 from the 2017 and 2018 registrations, and out of this figure, only 6,025 PVCs have been so far collected,” he said.
Obioma said the commission had registered no fewer than 315,175 voters between 2017 and first phase of the second quarter of 2018.
Obioma explained that the ongoing CVR would be temporarily suspended in the state on Aug.17, in line with the directive from the national headquarters.
He said that the rotation of the registration machines in wards ended on July, 31.
He, however, added that voter registration would continue in all INEC local government area offices across the 13 local government areas and six centres earlier approved by INEC.
The commissioner said that collection of PVCs would continue until one week to the general elections.
26 registered political parties attended the stakeholders second quarterly meeting.