209,721 PVCs yet to be collected in Cross River – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 209,721 Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs) have yet to be collected in Cross River ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Frankland Briyai, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River, made this known on Thursday in Calabar during an interactive session with religious leaders in the state on the forthcoming general elections.

Briyai explained that 1,426,698 PVCs were sent to the state office from Abuja, saying that out of the number, 1,216,977 PVCs had so far been collected, while 209,721 were yet to be collected by registered voters in the state.

He said that INEC had dispatched the 209,721 PVCs to all the wards across the state for easy collection in order to enable registered voters to participate in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, the meeting is organised to enlighten the religious leaders on the processes of the forthcoming elections and what is expected of them.

Briyai said INEC in the state had trained all its personnel for the polls, saying that the recruitment of ad hoc staff was ongoing.

“There is need for us to collaborate with the religious institutions in the state for a peaceful 2019 polls. Because we believe that whatsoever we discuss here, you will also transmit to your congregation.

“We want you to sensitise your people on the need for them to embrace peace before, during and after the polls. We don’t want anybody to be seen with multiple PVCs on the day of election.

“The security agencies have been trained and briefed to arrest anyone caught with two PVCs and beyond.

“On the present data of PVC collection in the state, a total of 1,426,698 PVCs are sent to the state office from Abuja, out of this number, 1,216,977 PVCs have so far been collected while 209,721 are yet to be collected by registered voters in the state,’’ he said.

The commissioner also said that the commission in Calabar had received non-sensitive materials from the Port Harcourt Zonal office for the conduct of the election.

He said that it was proof of the electoral body’s readiness and preparedness to conduct a free and fair election.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River Chapter, Joseph Ukpo, said that the association was ready to support the peaceful conduct of the elections for a better society.

Ukpo, who was represented at the event by Eyo Boco, the Public Relations Officer of CAN, said that they would go back to their various churches and sensitise their members on the need to be of good conduct during the polls.

The Chief Imam of Calabar Central Mosque, Kabeer Olowolayemo, said it was the civic responsibility of all religious leaders to sensitise their members on the need for a peaceful election.