As the window for PVC collection is about to open on Monday, 12th December 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced that 953,803 people are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards between 2011 and 2021 blaming it on voters’ apathy. The commission also added that it will be deploying 13, 225 Bimodal Voters
As the window for PVC collection is about to open on Monday, 12th December 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced that 953,803 people are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards between 2011 and 2021 blaming it on voters’ apathy.
The commission also added that it will be deploying 13, 225 Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) to Lagos state in the 2023 general elections. INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje announced this in his address at the Commission’s expanded stakeholders’ forum on Thursday December 8, in Lagos state.
Breaking it down, he explained that only 5, 676 858 PVCs have been collected out of the 6,630661 printed from 2011 to 2021 adding that without PVCs the Commission will not permit anyone to vote, as stated in the electoral Acts.
Advising voters in the coming election, he said “it is instructive to note that the collection of PVC by proxy will not be allowed and the collection of PVC is free. Owners of transferred defaced or other incidented PVCs should bring along with them the old PVCs for exchange with new ones”, he said.
Mr. Agbaje noted that despite the pressure on the commission to stop the usage of BVAS in the coming election, the election umpire has decided to move on with the process. He added that Lagos has the highest number of polling units in the country, hence, the justification for the large quantity of election material.
He disclosed that the commission has added to the number of polling units in the state, noting that the units have risen from 8,464 to 13,325. He added that the state has 245 Registration Areas Centres, which are the points where election materials will be distributed in each ward.
“As we gravitate towards the 2023 general election, let me draw your attention to some important electoral statistics for the state: the number of Registration Areas Centres (RAC). Numbers of BVAS to be deployed (contingency to be provided) 13,325”.
Speaking on the preparedness of the commission for the election, the REC explained to the stakeholders are on the 9th item in its timetable of activities for the 2023 general elections adding that the Commission’s activities are to ensure conduciveness for all voters.
“The commission has continued to work round the clock towards ensuring that no stone is left unturned for the creation of a very conducive electoral environment for all-inclusive participation of all stakeholders. It is worthy of note that out of fourteen (14) items on the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election 8 activities have been carried out successfully by the commission. The ninth item, which is electioneering campaign by political parties is ongoing”
He further reminded the stakeholders that the commission has slated November 12th, 2022 to January 22nd, 2023 for collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). He advised that every voter should ensure to collect their PVCs before the deadline.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to encourage their communities to shun violence, fake news, malpractices, snatching ballot boxes, vote buying, and all other election vices. He also charged the voters to eschew vote buying during the election.
Reacting to the Residential Electoral Commissioner, a member of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee, Olusegun Mobolaji, commended the efforts of the electoral umpire for its inclusive approach in its activities. He called on the Civil Society Organisations and political parties to shun violence and embrace peace in the coming elections. “I want to urge all political chairmen to cooperate with INEC to have a successful election. Talk to your party members to embrace peace during the election.
Representing the Muslim community, the Imam of Lagos Central Mosque, Alhaji T.O.S Gbajabiamila, appealed to politicians to ensure peaceful conduct of the election. He also advised the electorate against vote buying. “The only thing that can make all that INEC plans to be successful is for us to talk to the youth in our communities and the police so that we can have peace. We should be praying to God for peace in the country”.
In a similar tone, Prophet Enoch Adesola, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ikeja branch urged all Nigerians to pray for peace ahead of the election. “I urge all Nigerians to keep on praying for Nigerians as the elections are drawing nearer. We beg the security agencies to help us engage our youth to have violence-free elections.