Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has explained the reason behind the high number of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards in the state.
Agbaje disclosed that this was because many prospective voters might have migrated from the state for different reasons, while others might have died.
In a brief interview with Saturday PUNCH, Agbaje also noted that at least 400,000 out of the 900,000 old PVCs would be collected by previous registrants.
The REC said, “We have the old ones that are about 900,000 before, the number has even reduced now, and that is why uncollected PVCs seem to be on the high side.
“I had earlier told some journalists that those PVCs cannot all be collected because many of the owners of the PVCs have relocated, we have so many institutions in Lagos, some students are no longer in the state, we also have government workers and other workers who have been transferred. Some even left Nigeria, some may have died. So many people cannot collect theirs again. However, we still have about 200, 000 to 400,000 PVCs that can still be collected during this period.”
Speaking on the current PVC collection process, he said it would improve since the process had moved from the Local Governments to the 45 Residential Areas (Wards) in the state.
“I think the collection of the PVCs has started to improve now that we have transferred the collection of the local government to the residential areas. They have been able to attend to many people. Areas like Agege, we have 11 RAs there, Ifelodun, Alimosho, we also have 11 RAs there. We have 45 RAs across the country so people who were unable to collect at the LGs can go there too.
“Many of my Electoral Officers have said they are going to have more than they have been having in the LGs. They have gone today; they have more than 2,000. We will look at the outcome on the 15th of this month.”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos State, on Friday, decried the poor collection of PVCs, as 1,630,744 cards were yet to be collected in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria reported that the Public Affairs Officer of the commission in the state, Mrs Adenike Oriowo, revealed that only 224,490 of 940,200 newly printed PVCs had been collected as of Wednesday, which cuts across the commission’s offices in the 20 local government areas in the state.
Oriowo noted that the commission received a total of 6,570,291 PVCs out of which 5,655,257 had been collected on Wednesday, while 915,034 were yet to be collected by the owners.
According to her, the total PVCs (old and new) received by the state from INEC headquarters in Abuja stood at 7,510,941 out of which 5,879,747 had been collected, while 1,630,744 were yet to be collected as of Wednesday.
She said PVC applicants had the opportunity to visit their Registration Areas/Wards from January 6 to 15 to pick up their cards in person and not by proxy at the ward levels and that the exercise would revert to the local government levels by January15, 2022.
“We have moved the PVCs to the RAs (Registration Areas) today. We want the people to use the opportunity and create time to pick up their cards,” she said.
Also, the INEC in Rivers, on Thursday, urged those unable to collect their PVCs at the LGA offices of the commission to do so at the Registration Areas/Wards on the stipulated dates.
The Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Mr Mark Usulor, in a statement in Port Harcourt, appealed to all stakeholders to provide a peaceful and enabling environment for the commission’s officials to successfully carry out the exercise at the 319 Registration Areas/Wards in the state within the stipulated period.
INEC, in a similar report, said it had created more centres to ease the ongoing collection of PVCs in the Federal Capital Territory.
According to NAN report, the commission released a circular in Abuja on Friday which listed the venues to include Government Secondary School Garki, Area 10.