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Voters in Plateau express concern as PVCs distribution ends

09 November 2014, 15:53

Jos -  Some prospective voters in Plateau have expressed concern about their inability to obtain Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) which distribution ended on Sunday.

Correspondents of the media who went round some of the PVCs distribution centres, observed that many voters, who turned up to obtain the cards went home disappointed.

The media reports that while many could not find their names on the list at some centres, some polling units were not opened for the exercise.

Among polling units not opened at all for the exercise were Mountain Kiew, close to the Federal Secretariat, Hwolshe and Kwata area in Jos South Local Government Area.

At one of the polling units behind New Era Hotel in Hwolshe, out of the voters that were registered, only four names appeared on the list.

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The situation was also the same at polling units in Tudun-Wada, Kabong, Dadin-Kowa and Kabong.

A voter, Larai Maikifi, who spoke to the media in Hotel Junction in Hwolshe, described the situation as frustrating.

“I have been coming here since Friday when INEC started the distribution of the PVCs, but I have never seen one of its officials to tell me what is happening.”

“If it has disapproved this polling unit, people should be told, but no one is telling us anything and we are confused.”

“Many people have left, but I am hanging because this is the last day and I want to see if any INEC official can come and tell us where to go,” she said.

Another voter, Ibrahim Azi, said that he went to his polling unit at Obasanjo Model Primary School, but did not find his name in the list.

“I have complained and I have been asked to fill a form; I have done that and I am waiting for them to tell me what to do next,” he said.

However, Timoth Golu, the Chief Whip, Plateau House of Assembly, has asked INEC to tidy up their arrangement so as not to disenfranchise a large segment of the population.

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“Many people are still searching for their names; people are enthusiastic and want to vote to determine who should lead them, so INEC should not stand on their ways,” he said.

Golu asked INEC to extend the deadline for the collection of the PVCs, explaining that the period given for the exercise was short.

“Three days are not enough for the exercise, it should be allowed to continue alongside continuous registration exercise; otherwise there will be crisis during the elections,” he said.

But Habu Zarma, the INEC Resident Commissioner in Plateau, had earlier said that more than more than one million voters, out of 2.3 million voters, had yet to be captured in the state.
“After the PVCs distribution exercise, fresh registration will begin between November 12 and November 19,” Zarma said.

He said that fresh registration exercise would take place in 527 polling units across 11 local government areas.

Zarma said that many voters were not captured because of the challenges faced on printers, scanners and capturing finger prints of voters, among others.

“We also had problems with registration officials; they knew they did not actually capture some voters, but asked them to go,” he said.

-    NAN


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