The number of PVCs that have been gathered in Lagos State has been made public by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Goldennewsng reports that INEC, 5,676,858 PVCs have been retrieved from the state’s 6,630,661 collected from 2011 to 2021.
At a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on Thursday in Ikeja, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Lagos state, disclosed this information to leaders of political parties, civil society organizations, and religious leaders.
Agbaje said that the commission was doing everything it could to hold 2023 elections that everyone could be proud of that are acceptable and credible, and he thanked all of the parties involved for their cooperation in the effort to establish a long-lasting democratic culture in Nigeria.
“It is relevant to take note of that as at Dec.2, 953,803 PVCs were at this point to be gathered by their proprietors.
“From Monday, December 12, these uncollected cards and the anticipated PVCs for new registrants, transfer or review from January to July will be available for collection in all INEC offices across the state.”
“It is instructive to note that proxy PVC collection will not be permitted and that PVC collection is free.
The head of INEC stated, “Owners of transferred, defaced, or other incident PVCs should bring along the old PVCs for exchange with new ones.”
He claims that, in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022, no one without a PVC can vote in the 2023 general elections.
He stated that INEC had fixed the collection of PVCs at its Local Government Area offices from December 12 to January 22, 2023, and at the ward levels from January 6 to January 15, 2023.
The commissioner stated that INEC needed to collect PVCs by Jan. 22 in order to calculate the polling unit-by-polling unit records of the collected PVCs.
According to Agbaje, the deadline was set to help INEC prepare in accordance with sections 24 (2&3), 47 (3), and 51 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022 in the event that a candidate’s lead in an election was not greater than the total number of voters who collected their PVCs in polling units where elections were postponed, canceled, or not held.
He went on to say, “Therefore, all those who are yet to collect their PVCs are to do so within the period and avoid last-minute rush because the commission will not extend the collection period.”
He stated that the 13,325 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would be utilized for the authentication of PVCs and accreditation of voters. Additionally, he explained that Lagos state had 245 wards and 13,325 polling units distributed across the 20 LGAs.
He stated that INEC had continued to work around the clock to ensure that every effort would be made to create a very favorable electoral environment for the participation of all stakeholders.
Agbaje claimed that new technologies had been implemented by INEC to boost the election’s credibility and reassure voters that their votes would be counted.
He stated that INEC had also been participating in a comprehensive campaign for voter education and public enlightenment through, among other methods, personality programs on radio and television stations, the playing of jingles on radio and television, market outreach, the motorized public address system, and stakeholder engagement.
According to the commissioner, INEC had also conducted online recruitment of ad-hoc staff, cleaned up the voters’ register, taught various categories of staff about the latest technological advancements, and monitored political party campaigns.
The boss of INEC urged stakeholders to help secure the commission’s men and materials in accordance with expectations.
He also urged them to avoid violence, snatching ballot boxes, buying and selling voters’ cards, intimidating election officials, buying votes, and any other election vices.
He urged stakeholders to work toward a peaceful election and to mobilize voters to come out in large numbers to collect PVCs so that eligible voters could vote for their preferred candidates during the election.
He stated that the political class’s attitude of “do or die” and “win at any cost” had remained the primary obstacle for INEC.
He claims that some politicians use a variety of illegal strategies to undermine the electoral process, including the use of hate speech or vulgar language, the use of thugs to disrupt the process, raising false alarms, and the dissemination of fake news.
He reassured all stakeholders that INEC would maintain its neutrality and transparency while creating a level playing field for all general election candidates.
However, it is important to note that failing to get it right has enormous repercussions and should not even be considered.
“I therefore urge us all to do everything within the bounds of the law to effectively perform our various roles and prepare for the conduct of free, fair, credible, and inclusive general elections in 2023.”
In his remarks, Lagos state IPAC Chairman Mr. Olusegun Mobolaji pledged that IPAC members were also committed to credible and peaceful elections. He praised INEC for bringing stakeholders along and providing them with updates.
Mobolaji emphasized that “election is not a war” and urged all stakeholders to put in a lot of effort to increase political awareness, education, and security to prevent apathy.