The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State says it has distributed over 400, 000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in Alimosho Local Government Area alone.
The commission’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr Femi Akinbiyi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN recalls that, many voters in the area had been experiencing some difficulties in accessing their PVCs since the commencement of the exercise in 2014.
Akinbiyi, who said that the figure was as at March 16, noted that the figure would improve because more cards had been received and taken to various wards for distribution.
“We have distributed more than 400, 000 PVCs in Alimosho to registered voters and many are still being distributed.
“This figure will greatly increase by the end of this week’s distribution exercise because the cards have been taken to the council’s 11 registration areas for distribution since Friday.
“Because of the peculiarity of the council and the difficulty some people have in accessing these cards, we use our discretion to take the cards to the registration areas this weekend.
“However, many cards are still waiting for collection and we want their owners to come for collection,’’ he said.
Akinbiyi said that 15, 440 PVCs were injected into the area earlier in the week as part of the outstanding cards being expected in the state.
He said the commission had made every necessary preparation to ensure free, fair and acceptable polls in the state.
Akinbiyi urged stakeholders to support the commission in its efforts to conduct credible elections on March 28 and April 11.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored the distribution of PVCs at the area, reports that many prospective voters left the office excited in the last minute rush for their cards.
In her reaction, Mrs Mojisola Ogunbunmi of Polling Unit 017 in Ward 2 of the area said she had difficulties before getting the card.
“I have been trying to get the cards without any positive result since January, I thank God that I got the card today,’’ she said.
Ogunbunmi said that the card would allow her to vote for candidates of her choice during the forthcoming elections.
Mr Aruna Iyana of Polling Unit 024 in Ward 11 of the area said: “I have made a lot of efforts before getting this card; it has not been easy.
“I got it without any stress today. This card will make me to vote out and vote in whosoever I want,’’ he said.
In his view, Mr Yahaya Saliu of Polling Unit 009 in Ward 2 of the area said his patriotism and perseverance made him to get the card.
“If you look at the stress, you will not want to undergo it, but I am a patriotic Nigerian, I tried over and over again until I got it today.
“I have a very tight schedule but out of this tight schedule, I still found time to get this card as a patriotic Nigerian,’’ he said.
Saliu said he had devoted the whole day to collecting the card but getting to the centre, it didn’t take him more than five minutes.
But Raphael Fakayode of Polling Unit 012 in Ward 4 left the centre angry for not being able to get his card.
“This trouble is much, I don’t have this time, they have directed me to where I registered and if I get there now, one will not meet INEC staff.
“I just need to vote, otherwise I would have forgotten everything about this card,’’ Fakayode said.
Also speaking, a student, Mr Confidence Nweke, who registered at Polling Unit 041 in Ward 3, said he could not get his card after a lot of trials.
Nweke, however, said that he was referred to his ward to check whether the card was available.
NAN reports that about 3.8 million cards, out of 5.4 million cards received in the state have been distributed in the 20 councils as at March 16.
Lagos State has no fewer than 5.8 million registered voters.