The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Friday warned Federal Capital Territory, FCT, residents against collection of their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, by proxy, as distribution begins Monday, December 12.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC-FCT, at a news conference on the collection of PVCs in Abuja, said the INEC offices would be opened from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
According to Bello, the conference was necessary, because of the activities lined up by the commission, so the public could be fully briefed on them.
He said one of the legal frameworks of the commission was to compile, maintain and also update on a continuous basis a national register of voters.
“Having successfully conducted the nationwide display of preliminary voters register, the commission has approved the collection of PVCs from December 12, to January 22, 2023.
“This exercise will be done at the Local Government Area offices nationwide.
“The commission also resolved to devolve PVC collection to the 8,809 registration areas/wards, from Friday January 6 to January 15, 2023.
“Those that are unable to collect their PVCs at the wards during that time can do so at the Area Councils from January 15 to January 22, 2023,’’ he said.
Bello added that the PVCs of FCT residents were already at the Area Council Offices, and were being sorted and arranged according to polling units for easy and hitch free collection.
The REC said the collection of PVCs would be at the six area councils of Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kwali, Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC.
He also disclosed that collection at all the other area councils would be done in just one place, which is at the INEC offices.
However, he said that only AMAC would have two centres which are at Karu and the FCT INEC office, Area 10 office.
He explained that there were two Karu close to each other.
According to him, there is one Karu in Abuja, and the other is Karu, in Nasarawa.
He advised those who lived in the Karu in Nasarawa not to mistakenly come to Abuja.
Bello encouraged the electorate to first of all check the list posted by INEC to confirm their names before joining the queue to avoid unnecessary confusion.
He said those that had lost the slips given to them could still collect their PVCs as long as they could identify their names on the list, and the office could identify their pictures on the PVC.
He, however, said some people might not have PVCs because of issues of double registration, adding that the commission cleaned its register and fished out such people.
The REC said that such act was punishable by law.
Bello said INEC was worried at the turn of events in some political parties’ campaigns and appealed to all political parties to rethink their political parties’ strategies, and campaign visibly.
According to him, this is because a peaceful campaign would eventually produce a peaceful turnout at the polls.
“If you start wrongly by bringing violence to the campaign, you will accept the violence up to the time of the polls, and even after the polls.
“So, we want to appeal to them to please calm down and allow the rule of law decide.
“We want to appeal to all those political parties and those who are going to participate in this election in the FCT to look inward, go to their people and sell their ideas to them so they can vote them.”
Bello assured residents that their votes would count in 2023 as confirmed by the National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
“There is no cause for alarm,” he said.
He said that those that witnessed the off circle elections of Osun and Ekiti and other places saw that peoples’ votes counted.