PVC collection: FCT residents decry inadequate awareness

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ABUJA – Some residents of Abuja have decried what they called inadequate awareness and sensitisation of the public to the ongoing collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Abuja.

The three-day exercise, which began simultaneously in Abuja and 11 other states on Friday, will end on Sunday.

Some of the residents, who spoke to NAN, said they got to know about the exercise when they saw people gathering at Polling Units (PUs).

NAN correspondents, who monitored the exercise, report that people were either checking their names on the boards or were waiting in queues to get their cards.

A resident, Mr Adetami Victor, told NAN at the Maitama Third Junction PU, that he could not find his name on the list.

“The information was not well circulated; the awareness was low. I did not hear about it at all. I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd.

“I decided to check out what was happening and discovered a board had been put up with incomplete names,’’ Victor said.

At the Area 10 Post Office PU, NAN observed that there was a mix-up which resulted in slow distribution of cards by the NYSC members conducting the exercise.

Mrs Gloria Okeke, who told NAN at the PU that she got to know about the exercise through a colleague, also complained of having problem finding her name on the list.

“They (INEC Officials) should have sorted these cards out before today; for instance, place names that start with A in a box, and those with B in another and so on.

“They came late and started sorting first; this is past 10 and not more than two people have collected their cards. I hope tomorrow will be better,’’ Okeke said.

At the Wuse II AP Plaza PU, the security man there said they were disallowed from carrying out the exercise at the designated centre. [eap_ad_1] “This exercise was to be at the opposite side of the road in the premises of a primary school but the security operatives disallowed the corps members, saying they did not get any directive to that effect.’’

Ali Ubandoma told NAN at the unit that he saw his name on the display board but his card was not found.

Speaking to NAN on the exercise, the FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Godwin Kwanga, explained that the commission had done its best to sensitise the electorate to the exercise.

“Let me begin with the issue of publicity; that you went to the poling units and saw people means that we reached out.

“We actually did a lot of publicity for this exercise; we held meetings with an advisory committee on voter education and publicity, and other stakeholders.

“We also gave press interviews, had jingles on the radio translated into local languages –  Gbagi, Hausa and Pidgin English.

“We also got National Orientation Agency to provide for us two information vans and they were going about giving people information and handing out leaflets on the exercise. I was impressed,’’ Kwanga said.

He also explained the issue of people seeing their names and not having their cards, saying: “We are dealing with about 916,000 cards in this exercise in the FCT alone and sorting them out may have been a challenge.

“I would advise that people that find themselves in that kind of situation should exercise some patience so that we can sort out such problems.’’

He advised that residents who wished to transfer their cards from their former place of abode either outside the FCT or from one part of the FCT to another only had to apply.

“What such people need to do is transfer of registration and let me assure you that the process is not cumbersome.

“The person should apply to the REC for transfer of registration; the application has to be routed through the electoral officer of the area council where the person resides.

“If the person has relocated within the FCT, we will process and transfer the card.

“But if it is outside the FCT, we will process and invite you to come, take your biometrics to include your name in our register.

“We will instruct our office where you initially registered to delete your name from their register.’’

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