Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday, in Asaba, Delta State, expressed deep concerns over the non-collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) by eligible voters across the country.
The commission said over 17 million PVCs were yet to be collected with about eight months to the elections.
National Commissioner of INEC supervising Delta, Cross River and Akwa-Ibom states, Dr. Muhammed Mustafa Lecky, made this known during a meeting with representatives of registered political parties in Delta State.
Lecky said about seven million PVCs were not collected from the 2014/2015 registration exercise, adding that since the commencement of the Continuous Voting Registration (CVR) exercise in 2017, over ten million PVCs are ready and waiting for their owners to collect.
“The commission is greatly concerned with the burden of uncollected PVCs, this is worrisome because it has an effect on the commission’s logistics planning.
“In Delta State we have about 300,343 uncollected PVCs, both for the 2014/2015 exercise as well as the 2017 exercise. I am therefore calling on you to mobilise and educate your people on the need to collect their PVCs as the burden of collection is on the owners of the cards,” Lecky charged the politicians.
He said the commission has taken a step further to ease the stress involved in the collection process by moving into wards for owners to have easy access.
Lecky said although the number of registered political parties in the country at the moment is 67, the number may increase to 80 before the elections, disclosing that there are over 100 political associations seeking to be registered and recognise as political parties.
Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, Mrs. Rose Oriarian-Anthony bemoaned the lack of physical structures for state chapters of political parties, and urged defaulting parties to put structures in place as the commission will be embarking on another round of verification exercise.
“Well everyone of us here know that it is given for any party registered in the state to have a physical structure with full complement of party executives at the state capital as it is obtainable at the Federal Capital, Abuja where the secretariat of each of your respective political parties is situated. It is my hope that those who are yet to comply have done so, since our last meeting as there will definitely be another round of visits in due course,” she said.