.Says, PVC collection rate hits 72.7m
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Against the backdrop of calls by some aggrieved partisans for his resignation, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said he would not resign but would rather focus on conducting the general elections.
This was as the INEC boss said the collection rate Permanent Voter Cards PVCs ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections now stand at over 72.7 million out of a total voter population of over 84 million.
He was speaking Thursday at the commission’s daily briefing ahead of Saturday polls.
“The commission has operated on the policy that no citizen can vote without the PVC issued by the commission. Having announced the total number of registered voters and the distribution by age, gender and occupation, citizens serve the right to know how many PVCs have been collected across the country.
“The last date for the collection of PVCs was was Monday 11th February 2019. Out of 84, 094, 84 registers voters, the total number of PVCs collected stands at 72, 775, 585 which represents 86.3 percent of the total PVCs produced”, he stated.
He said over 11 million PVCs remained uncollected out of which over 7 million where carried over from the 2014 and 2016 registration exercises while over three million PVCs are from the last Continuous Voter Registration exercise held between April 2017 and August 2018. ” All the uncollected. Arda have been deposited at the various branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN across the federation for custody. The commission will take custody once more of the PVCs after the collection to make them available for collection by citizens. At that time we hope the continuous registration of voters will resume”, he added.
In percentage terms, the breakdown of PVC collection rate showed that Katsina recorded the highest rate of 98.69%, while Adamawa recorded 90.66%.
President Muhammadu Buhari hails from Katsina while his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP hails from Adamawa.
However, when it comes to raw collection figures, Lagos state has 5.5 million PVC holders, followed by Kano with 4.6 million.
I won’t resign
“I am not under any pressure. I see no reason to even contemplate resigning. There is no reason whatsoever to even contemplate resigning. We will stay focused as a commission, we will do the job that is there for us to do”, he state.
Some major players and parties in Nigeria’s political scene had come down hard on the INEC Chairman in the wake of his postponement of the elections last weekend, asking him to resign his appointment.
He also restated the fact that the Nigerian Police remained the lead agency for election security, saying soldiers are not expected to be involved at the polling units except where there is a breakdown of law and the police by it’s own assessment of the situation decides to invite the military for a back up.