The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday expressed concerns over non collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) in Kogi for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Dr Hale Longpet, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) made this known while addressing newsmen in Lokoja.
Longpet said that out of the 293, 015 newly registered voters from 2019 to Nov., only 36,357 persons have collected their PVCs representing only 28 per cent.
“Between 2019 and 2020 we registered 154, 984 voters but only 13, 689 voters collected their PVCs leaving 141, 295 PVCs uncollected.
“Again, between 2021 and July 2022 we (INEC) registered 38, 595 new voters but only 17, 413 voters came forth and collected their PVCs leaving behind 21, 182 PVCs uncollected.
“It is on this fact that we are calling on the public to endeavour to collect their PVCs now that the 2023 general elections is fast approaching, ” he appealed.
The REC noted that though statistically the number of registered voters in Kogi has increased from the previous 1. 6 million to 1.9 million, the non collection of PVCs was not encouraging at all.
He called on traditional rulers, religious and community leaders and Political parties to prevail on their members or wards to come forward for their PVCs in the various wards of the state so that they won’t be disenfranchised
According to him, “with the release of the time table and schedule of activities for the off-Cycle Governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo coming up on Nov 11, 2023, there’s need for seriousness from all and sundry in the state.”
Longpet said that the Commission was doing all it could to enlighten the public on election matters but that the the role of the media would be of great importance to the successful conduct of the 2023 polls.
He said that the Commission has over the years worked tirelessly to reform the electoral process and introduced many innovations which would help check electoral fraud and manipulations from any quarter.
The REC warned against electoral violence and thuggery as he said such acts that would undermine the electoral process would not be tolerated at all.