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2023:Political Parties React To High Number Of Uncollected PVCs, Suspect Mischief From APC


Political parties have reacted to the reportedly slow pace of collection of permanent voter cards (PVCs) across states of the federation.

According to them, much is left to be desired considering the high figure of unclaimed PVCs in the country with just a few weeks to the general election.

Naija News earlier reported that fresh information has emerged that about 6.7 million PVCs were yet to be collected in 17 states of the federation.

It was gathered that data obtained from Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Tuesday revealed the huge figure of uncollected PVCs even as elections are barely two months away.

According to Punch, data from INEC revealed that 6.7 million PVCs seating in the commission’s offices across 17 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

However reacting to this development, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ibrahim Abdullahi alleged foul play from the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He submitted that “It is a confirmation that we are tilting towards a dangerous precedent. The fact that less than six weeks to the election; over 7m PVCs have not been collected leaves much to be desired.

‘’It is the responsibility of the government to enlighten the people and I think they haven’t done enough to encourage people to collect their PVCs, but in some ways, I smell mischief. They (the government) can as well make use of these voter cards or use them to cover their tracks.’

On his part, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka expressed worry about the development with a few weeks of the election.

He said even though the party expected registered voters to go back to the collection centres to pick up their PVCs, at this point, the party can only appeal to voters to pick up their cards.

The APC spokesperson advanced that the party has been mobilizing people to collect their PVCs regardless of the parties they are going to vote for.

Morka, however, asserted that the credibility of the elections cannot be undermined by the number of voters who didn’t pick their PVCs as the number is lower than those who had collected theirs.

He pointed out that “I understand that people are very busy; we hope as a party that those Nigerians who have taken time to register will realise that of all the things they have to do, this is one of the most important duties: to go out to vote and select those who govern them. The country belongs to every Nigerian and that duty is one that we hope they exercise and take seriously.

“They need to go out there because without it they can’t even vote; that will mean that they are disenfranchising themselves.

‘’The point isn’t that the credibility of the election will be brought to question because of those who haven’t collected their PVCs.

“The point is that we all need to turn out to pick up our PVCs and vote. Participating in the election is more important to us than whatever argument people might want to come up with.“

Naija News also gathered that giving his comment on the issue, the Director-General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun called for an investigation into the matter bothering the level of uncollected PVCs.

Osuntokun claimed that opposition parties might be discouraging people in areas that are not their stronghold not to collect their PVCs.

He added that “Why should we be worried? There will always be uncollected PVCs. But it is not good for democracy. It is important we investigate what is the reason for this. It could be that some parties are deliberately creating barriers to the collection in locations where they know they are weak. We need to investigate this.’’

On his own part, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Tex Okechukwu, stated, “A good number of them would have collected (the cards) before the election. Awareness is being created across the board. Our party and other parties are doing serious sensitization on the collection of PVCs.”

Also giving his take on the development, the Spokesperson for the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) Presidential Campaign Council, Ladipo Johnson pointed out that the council would only be worried if the unclaimed PVCs were the result of ‘systemic blockage.’

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He remarked that “We would be worried if people that are seeking to collect are not able to; if it seems that there is a systemic blockage but if it is that Nigerians are leaving things to the last minute, we will only encourage them to collect their PVCs.”

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