INEC Refuses Extension: Deadline for PVC Collection in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa Stands
Deadline Stands Firm
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made it clear that it will not extend the deadline for collecting Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa States.
The commission, through Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, and Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), affirmed that the October 9, 2023 deadline issued by INEC remains unchanged, in preparation for the November 11 polls.
Concerns Over Unclaimed PVCs
While INEC has held its ground on the deadline, the commission has expressed concerns over the significant number of uncollected PVCs in these states. A staggering 241,715 PVCs remain uncollected in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states.
Kogi accounts for 107,715 unclaimed cards, while Bayelsa has 134,000 yet to be collected.
Background to the PVC Collection Exercise
The ongoing PVC collection exercise specifically targets registered voters in the three states who couldn’t collect their PVCs before the suspension of the activity on February 5, 2023, during the general election.
No Extension Considered
Mr. Oyekanmi emphasized that INEC is not considering an extension of the PVC collection exercise at this point. Registered voters who have not collected their PVCs still have two weeks to do so.
However, Oyekanmi expressed concern about the tendency for people to act close to the deadline, which puts undue pressure on state offices. He encouraged voters to collect their PVCs earlier for a smoother process.
No Room for Time Extension
Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the Kogi State REC, reiterated INEC’s position that there would be no extension of the time originally scheduled for PVC collection.
He explained that the collection period was set for four weeks, considering it’s not a nationwide exercise, and these cards are remnants from previous collections.
Imo State’s Situation
In Imo State, Prof. Sylvia Agu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, disclosed that INEC resumed issuing PVCs on September 11 and also has no plans for an extension. Agu noted that INEC still holds approximately 134,000 uncollected PVCs in the state, distributed across the 27 local government council secretariats.
Efforts to Promote PVC Collection
Efforts to encourage PVC collection include broadcasting and urging residents in various local languages to collect their PVCs. INEC has also collected phone numbers from the owners of unclaimed PVCs in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi to send bulk SMS reminders to them.
In summary, INEC remains firm on the October 9, 2023 deadline for PVC collection in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa States, despite concerns about a significant number of unclaimed voter cards.
The commission emphasizes the importance of timely collection and has taken steps to remind registered voters to collect their PVCs.