By Raji Rasak
Badagry – Many registered voters in Badagry on Friday defied the early morning rain to besiege the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ibereko, to beat the Feb. 8 deadline for collection of their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored the collection observed that registered voters were on a queue defying the heavy downpour to ensure they collection their PVCs on deadline.
NAN also reports that the queue was according to the 11 wards that made up the Badagry Local Government area and the two Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the town.
Mr John Ajoseh, one of the registered voters, said that the time to collect the card eluded him all the while.
“But I received a message from INEC yesterday telling me that the collections will end today.
“I have to tell my boss that I will not be come to office early so that I can collect it. I have to participate in the coming general election,’’ he said.
Mrs Bolanle Sewedo, a fish seller at Agbalata Market in Badagry, said that she was at the INEC office on Thursday but could not collect the PVC, but hope to collect it today.
Mr Oluwasegun Olagunju, an official of INEC in Badagry, said that it was unfortunate that the registered voters were not coming around to collect their cards.
He said the commission had to resort to sending appeal text messages to voters in the area to come and collect their cards over two months ago.
“We have used all means of communication, even going to public places to address them to come and collect their cards but they did not come until this deadline.
“When we sent messages to them through their phones that today is the deadline, see how they have now besieged our office,’’ he said.
Olagunju said that the uncollected PVCs in Badagry were about 35,000 as at Wednesday, adding that with the turnout of voters on Thursday and today, it had reduced considerably.
According to him, over 5,000 registered voters collected their PVCs on Thursday.
“We are still expecting more than that today, as we have divided them into wards to enhance their distribution,’’ he said.
INEC explained last weekend that all uncollected PVCs nationwide would be warehoused at the Central Bank of Nigeria until the conclusion of the general elections.
Meanwhile, INEC has extended collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to Monday, February 11, 2019.
This was announced by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu on Friday, at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners of the nation.
The general elections are just a week away, and the electoral commission had earlier declared the deadline for the collection of PVCs to end today, Friday.
The decision to extend the date was, however, reached after the RECs gave situation reports on the collection of PVCs in their respective states.