…charges them to collect their PVCs

By: Gloria Ogbu

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ekiti State has charged residents of the state to pick up their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) before the January 22nd, 2023, deadline given by the Commission.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State, Professor Ayobami Salami who said this at a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti disclosed the preparedness of the Commission for the 2023 General Elections.

According to him, “to make voting process in 2023 General Elections seamless, devoid of rigors and stress for the voters, the Commission is planning to migrate some voters who fall within the densely populated Polling Units with the aim of decongesting such polling units and giving room for the sparsely populated ones that are within the same cluster or locations to reduce unnecessary queues and time wasting at the polling units by voters. To this extent, I use this medium to solicit for your understanding and cooperation whenever the Commission commences the exercise.

“The Commission having observed that some RACs, S/RACs and Collation centres were located in inappropriate places in some Local Government Areas (LGAs), directed their immediate relocation to to appropriate places that have adequate space for the number of Adhoc staff that they will be accommodating.

“Some of these facilities which were also located far away in remote and unsafe areas have been relocated to safer places in line with the Commission’s guidelines to such facilities. All the communities and Registration Areas where these relocations were done have been properly communicated at the stakeholders meetings hosted by the Electoral Officers in the affected LGAs.

“As part of our preparations for the 2023 General Elections, the Commission has approved the commencement of the distribution of the PVCs nationwide from 12th of December to 22nd January, 2022. This exercise shall take place in all the 16 Local Government Area Offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti state. In the same vein, the exercise shall be devolved to Registration Areas (wards) from 6th January, 2023 till 15th January, 2023.

“As part of the procedure, there is going to be issuance register which will be pasted in each LGA for registrants to check their names before proceeding to the collection point. This shall ease the collection procedure, fast track the process and reduce the congestion always experienced at the collection point.

“Let me state that from the total number of 988,923 registered voters in Ekiti state, 783,796 voters have collected their PVCs, remaining 205,127 PVCs yet to be collected as at 09/12/2022. In respect of the above, I humbly use this occasion to solicit for your advocacy to encourage those voters who are yet to collect their PVCs to promptly make use of this opportunity to do so. Let me reiterate that the PVC is the only valid permit to participate in the 2023 General Elections as a voter according to section 47 of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

Prof Ayobami who also assured People with disabilities (PWDs) that their votes would be counted stated that the Commission will pay high priority to voter’s education.

He also appealed to Ekiti people to stop selling their votes saying that they are critical in making sure the best candidate emerge winner in the 2023 general election.

“Stop buying the vote of the people and please our beloved people of Ekiti please stop selling your votes. There are a lot of dangers inherent when you sell your votes.” He stated.