Abakaliki – The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) in Ebonyi, on Monday commenced distribution of 69,363 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Godswill Obioma performed the inauguration at Nkaliki, Headquarters of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
The commissioner said the exercise was taking place simultaneously across the 13 LGAs of the state.
Obioma said that three groups of registrants would collect their PVCs during the exercise including those who registered before and after 2015, those who lost their PVCs, transferred from their areas of previous residency or have defaced cards.
He said that cards must be collected by their owners on submission of the temporary voter cards issued to them at the point of registration adding that the cards would not be given by proxy.
The REC urged eligible voters to take advantage of the distribution of the PVC to collect their cards noting that failure automatically disqualified the voter.
He explained that the distribution was in line with the directive from the chairman of the commission, Prof Mamud Ibrahim.
Obioma said that the cards were arranged local government by local government, ward by ward and poling unit by polling units for easy identification and collection.
“About 45,000 uncollected PVCs from previous registration which we call ‘uncollected’ PVCs will be distributed to owners in the exercise.
“All PVCs must be distributed to the owners on presentation of the temporary voter cards by the appropriate owners and not by proxy,” Obioma said.
The commissioner said that the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) was still ongoing noting that the distribution of the PVCs which commenced had not brought the CVR to a close.
“We shall continue with the ongoing CVR until we are directed to stop by the National Headquarters of the Commission.
“We implore those who are yet to get registered to go to any nearest registration centre and get registered,” he said.
He appealed to eligible voters who registered but had not collected their cards to take advantage of the distribution exercise done across the 13 local government areas.
He commended communities for tremendous support given to the commission during the registration urging them to continue the partnership.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the resident commissioner personally distributed the PVCs to three registrants to commence the exercise.
One of the registrants, Miss Stephenie Adede, 19, expressed delight that she collected her PVC adding that this would be the first time she would vote in her life.