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Lamentation in Abia as registrants scramble to collect PVCs

By Guardian Nigeria
24 January 2023   |   5:10 am
It was a tale of agony, lamentation and frustration, yesterday, in Abia State, as voters, who registered for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), besieged council offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collect their PVCs before Sunday deadline.
pvcs

An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sorts out Permanent Voters card (PVC) of voters at a ward in Lagos on January 12, 2023 ahead of February 25 presidential election. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

It was a tale of agony, lamentation and frustration, yesterday, in Abia State, as voters, who registered for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), besieged council offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collect their PVCs before Sunday deadline.

At INEC office at Adelabu Street, Umuahia North, registrants were seen in clusters struggling for attention at the facility. There were long queues by almost every window as people waited patiently for their turn.

Some of the frustrated registrants, who spoke with newsmen, expressed disappointment with INEC for difficulties they had to pass through. They said that despite waiting for long hours, they were told that their PVCs were not ready.

One of them, Akoni Iron, said his name was seen on INEC system, but was told that his PVC had not been printed. He said he was sad that despite waiting for so long, he was not sure if he would ever get his PVC before the deadline.

Another registrant, Ferdinand Egbulefu, said he had gone to Umuagu Primary School and his Ossah Ward, respectively, without success, and was later referred to INEC office at Adelabu Street.

He said he had been at the facility since morning till 2:00 p.m. without any success, lamenting that he might be disenfranchised in the forthcoming polls.

Similarly, an eye-impaired woman, who also said she had been around the facility since morning, regretted that her PVC was nowhere to be found.

“I was here two weeks ago, and they said we should fill forms. We did, and, today, they said we should fill forms again. But they told us they had gone to photocopy the forms.”

She said she would be unhappy if she were denied the opportunity to exercise her franchise at the forthcoming elections. Ifeanyi Melariri, who said he registered at Abia Line Network office, regretted that his PVC had not been printed.

When contacted, Head, Voter Education and Publicity Enlightenment, INEC, Rebecca Jim, said that people should be patient with INEC staff as efforts were being made to attend to them. She regretted that people had to wait until there was rush before coming to pick their PVCs.

Jim said she was in Aba to monitor the ward collection and received complaints from INEC staff that people were not forthcoming. She pleaded with affected registrants to exercise patience.

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