Ahead of the September 10 Governorship Election in Edo State, the state’s Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) yesterday, disclosed that not less than 490,000 Permanent Voters Cards, (PVC) are yet to be collected by their owners.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekun, who disclosed this said the commission is committed to delivering a credible election in the state, distancing it from the alleged sales of PVC’s by politicians and political parties.
He urged the card owners to take advantage of the ongoing registration process to collect them, saying the unclaimed cards are part of the 1.7 million registered voters in the state.
Olumekun explained that only names of candidates submitted by the national executive of the participating political parties in the election would be accepted by INEC.
He also warned against multiple registrations by voters, noting that such will be detected by special software in its system thereby rendering it invalid.
“We are aware that some people have not been able to collect their PVC’s, INEC will use this period of registration to distributes the old PVC’s that may not have been collected. Those who have registered and yet to collect their PVC’s should therefore check and collect their cards,” he said.
The commissioner said the challenge before the commission is to sustain a correct political orientation anchored on principles, interest of the vast majority of the people and not for a minority few.
He promised that the environment of politics and election must improve against the backdrop of what we have seen in the immediate past in some neighbouring states.
“Edo must stand out as a people with deep and rich culture of which they are proud and committed. The quality and moral authority of any beneficiary of election coming up later this year will depend on how credible the election is, otherwise such a beneficiary may not be accorded the due respect,” he added.
He denied knowledge of allegations against the commission that politicians were buying up voters’ cards, saying its business is to supervise elections and it would do that efficiently.
According to him, “INEC has repeatedly promised Nigerians that it will continue to improve the electoral system and processes to ensure maximum returns in election management against the tide of recent inconclusive elections.”
He called for the cooperation and support of security agencies, political parties and other stakeholders for a violence-free election, saying the use of Smart Card Readers will be complimented with the e-collation system, which would be first tested at the Edo election.