As the 2023 general elections draws nearer, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the low rate of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) collection.
The electoral umpire said only 6,382 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) out of 34,242, have been collected by their owners from the Commission’s Headquarters in Lagos for the first and second quarters.
Mr Olusegun Agbaje, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Lagos State, made this disclosure on Thursday at the 8th Annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly, held simultaneously across the 40 Constituencies in the state.
Agbaje, who was a special guest at the meeting held at the Lagos Mainland Constituency 2, expressed concern that the low rate of PVC collection in the state is worrisome.
The Lagos REC, who was represented by Mrs Olamide Dojumo, Electoral Officer, Lagos Mainland LGA, also disclosed that for the old PVCs, a total of 1,091,157 are still uncollected by their owners.
“In view of the foregoing, I want to strongly urge you to continue to assist the Commission in mobilizing the eligible citizens residing in Lagos State that are yet to collect their PVCs to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the ongoing collection of PVCs at the INEC LGA offices where they registered to collect their PVCs, as anyone without the PVC cannot vote during the election. Simply put ‘no PVC no voting’
“You will agree with me that the success of any election depends largely on how relevant stakeholders play their various roles. Therefore, everyone must strive towards ensuring that their contributions are effective, positive and purposeful for the attainment of the Nation’s desired viable, sustainable and enduring democratic culture.
“As the general election draws near, we should properly educate and mobilize the voters in line with the Electoral Act 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). This is a significant area where the Commission needs the positive input of all stakeholders to complement her ongoing efforts toward improving the level of awareness of the citizenry in the democratic process.
“This will no doubt increase the PVC collection rate and avoid voter apathy that has characterized the past elections in the state where only 1,156,590 out of 6,570,291 registered voters (17.6%) participated in the 2019 general election in Lagos State. Similarly, only 104,405 out 1,343,448 registered voters (7.8%) participated in the 2020 Lagos East Senatorial District By-election”.