Uyo – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has so far distributed 1, 177, 910 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to prospective voters in Akwa Ibom State, an official said.
The commission’s Head of Operations in the state, Mr Michael Odey, gave the information in Uyo when he addressed a conference on peaceful elections organised for traditional rulers in the state.
Odey said that the PVCs so far distributed accounted for 80 per cent of the total number received by the commission in the state.
He said that out of the total of 1, 468, 780 PVCs received in the state, 284, 915 cards had yet to be collected by their owners, while 5, 955 PVCs were stolen by hoodlums.
Addressing the traditional rulers, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Austin Okojie, appealed to them to encourage their people to come and collect their voter cards.
“We are now at the ward level for the distribution of the cards, so we appeal to the royal fathers to use town criers to encourage the people to collect their cards.
“Our royal fathers can also mobilise people in the communities for active participation in the electoral processes,” Okojie said.
He said traditional rulers had enormous responsibility to promote peaceful conduct of elections.
“Politicians are your subjects, they come from your communities and many of them actively seek your blessings for their political quests.
“You are well positioned, therefore, to influence them towards conducting themselves with civility and decorum as it is necessary to ensure peaceful and successful conduct for the forthcoming elections,” Okojie said.
In an interactive session, the acting Paramount Ruler of Eket Local Government Area, Chief Etim Abia, complained that the cards were not arranged serially or alphabetically for easy distribution.
Abia said that in his local government area, where INEC said only 64 per cent of the cards had been distributed, his people thronged INEC office to collect their cards but did not succeed.
The electoral commissioner promised to look into the arrangement of the cards to ease retrieval.