The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worries over the low rate of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) collection in Lagos State.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, made this known at the Eighth Annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting held on Thursday in Lagos.
The meeting is organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly on the importance of PVC ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The meeting holds simultaneously in the 40 constituencies of the state.
Agbaje was represented by an INEC official, Mr. Emmanuel Adegboyega, during the meeting held at the Eti-Osa II Constituency.
Agbaje said, ”The low rate of PVC collection in Lagos State is worrisome as only 6,382 PVCs out of 34,242 received from the commission’s headquarters for the first and second quarters CVR had been collected by their owners.
“This is just 18.6 per cent; similarly, for the old PVCs, a total of 1,091,157 are still uncollected by their owners.”
He urged stakeholders to properly educate and mobilise voters in line with the Electoral Act 2022 and 1999 Constitution as amended.
According to him, such is a significant area where the commission needs the positive input of all stakeholders to complement its ongoing efforts towards improving the level of awareness.
“This will no doubt increase the PVC collection rate.
“Also, avoid voter apathy that have characterised past elections in the state where only 1,156,590 out of 6,570,291 registered voters, that is, 17.6 per cent participated in the 2019 general election in the state, “ Agbaje said.
Earlier, a lawmaker representing Eti-Osa State Constituency II, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, said the essence of the programme was like a town hall meeting for sharing ideas.
Yishawu said, “Town hall means rubbing minds with your constituents and the theme is the priority of the 2023 general elections, importance of PVC
“We are trying to sensitise our people to ensure that they go and get registered and not just registered but to collect their voters’ card.
“You saw me carry out an exercise trying to see how many people have actually registered and have got PVC.
“You cannot vote with your slip; you must get your PVC, that is the essence, “ he said.