INEC Says It Has Distributed Over 38 Million Permanent Voters Cards

By Adeday Ogunleye, Abuja and Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that at least 38 million Nigerians have so far obtained their permanent voters’ cards, PVCs.

The chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, who made this known in a press statement on Thursday said 38, 774, 391 Nigerians have received their cards.

According to Idowu, the figure represents 71.35% of the 54,341,610 number of registered voters across the country.

The spokesman, who disclosed that the commission would commence PVC distribution for the first time in Borno State on Friday, however expressed confidence that the number of distributed PVCs will increase before conclusion of the distribution exercise.

According to analysis of the data provided, of the 38,774,391 PVCs distributed, 22, 832, 396 were in the northern region of the country while 15,941,995 have been distributed in the south.

Further analysis shows that the North west and the South west have taken the lead ahead of the other four zones in PVC collection.

In the seven states in the North-west, namely Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna 12, 013,961 PVCs have been collected while  6,270,736 PVCs have been distributed in the six South west states, namely Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun and Oyo.

Following the South west zone is the South south where it was recorded that 5,756,018 PVCs have been collected by prospective voters. States in this zone include Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta.

Coming on the heels of the South south is the North central zone with states such as Benue, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Plateau and Niger all collecting 5, 520,001 cards..

Analysis of data on collected PVCs across states indicates that Kano scored highest as 2,771,185 voters are recorded to have collected their PVCs followed by Kaduna State with 2,643,517 and Lagos State with 2,159,091. In Enugu State, 662,445 prospective voters have received their cards while the commission states that in Ekiti State, 481,199 voters have received their PVCs   .

Available records indicate that in the FCT, 411,935 people have collected their PVCs, and that Bayelsa State has the least number of prospective voters with PVCs at 370,062.

Eyebrows have been raised over the pattern of distribution of the PVCs as the general elections draw near, amid fears of collusion between INEC and the People’s Democratic Party-led federal government to exploit the card distribution process for electoral gains at the forthcoming polls.

It would be recalled that the spokesman of the All Progressives’ Party, APC, Lai Mohammed, had earlier alleged a subtle plot by the PDP and the federal government to systematically disenfranchise voters in the areas where the opposition party is perceived as enjoying more popularity than the ruling party.

Also, the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, in November, 2014, alleged that the manner in which the distribution exercise was conducted in Lagos State suggested that the commission planned to disenfranchise the residents of the state.

The governor made the comment after several Lagos residents protested their inability to collect their PVCs during the between November 7 and 9 that the exercise lasted in 2014.

Meanwhile, INEC said on Friday that it will now distribute PVCs in Borno State between January 10 and January 15. The exercise was earlier scheduled to commence Friday.






     

     

    INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Tukur Sa’ad, said the exercise will only be carried out in two of the 27 local governments of the state, Maiduguri and Jere, due to the prevailing security challenges.

    He said that INEC will also conduct continuous voter registration for individuals who had attained voting age during the period.
    “The issuance of PVC to registered voters and the CVR will take place in Maiduguri and Jere LGA considered to be relatively safe now,” he stated.

    He said further that INEC was making contact with security agents to extend the exercise to other local governments that are considered safe.

    The national headquarters of the electoral body is expected to publish the final list of voters next Tuesday.

     

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