By Davies Iheamnachor – Port Harcourt

The National Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, has decried low turnout in the collection of the Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, by residents in Rivers State.

The Commission also stated that it is working hard in its preparations for the 2023 General election, adding that it is its desire that no citizen is disenfranchised and that every vote will counts.

The Supervising National Commissioner of INEC, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, spoke at the INEC Head office in Port Harcourt, Monday, according to a statement released by the state’s Public Affairs Officer of the Commisson in the state, Geraldine Ekelemu.

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Agbamuche-Mbu said in view of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) that INEC in Rivers State received a total of 95 INEC Voter Enrolment Devices (IVED) which were deployed to the 24 Registration Centres in the Local Government Areas and the Head Office.

She noted that INEC’s Registration Officers and other staff at the LGA offices have been working assiduously throughout the registration exercise to ensure that voters were registered, but regretted that larger number of the PVS were yet to be collected by the registered voters.

She said: “From our records, 278, 417 new voters were registered, as well as 127, 670 voter transfers and 43, 080 PVC replacements as at 24th July, 2022. With regards to the distribution of new PVCs, 54, 945 have been received but only 10, 373 have so far been collected, leaving an outstanding balance of 44, 572.

“For transfers and replacements, of 16, 949 received, only 1, 790 have so far been collected. From the old PVCs we have on record 302, 297 cards but only 33, 575 collected.

“I must be emphatic here and put on record that the collection of the PVCs has been abysmally low. With 7 months to go to the 2023 General Election, we urge the people of Rivers State to collect their PVCs in good time and not to wait until the last minute.”

She commended the state office for conducting Voter’s education, adding that the figures from the Continuous Voter’s Registration was a proof.

“I must applaud the figures that emanated from Rivers State during the CVR Exercise as they showed that the Rivers State office conducted voter education and widely sensitized the electorate throughout the year long period of the exercise.

“It also goes further to show that the people of Rivers State are fully prepared and are looking forward to exercising their franchise at the forthcoming elections.”

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