The Independent National Electronic Commission expressed concern this week about the number of uncollected PVCs across the country. There are 6.7 million uncollected PVCs across 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory with less than two months until the general elections.
Although INEC expects the number to drop significantly before the deadline of January 22, the commission suspects that citizens have become unwilling to visit state offices.
INEC is eager to avoid repeats of voter apathy and has announced plans to devolve collection to the ward and local government levels in the coming weeks.
According to data from the 2019 presidential election, the 6.7 million uncollected PVCs would have been sufficient to determine the outcome of an election in which the winner Muhammadu Buhari received 15 million votes and his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar, received 11.2 million votes.
Uncollected PVCs by states
As of December 29, Lagos state had the most uncollected PVCs, with 1,693,963 uncollected cards. Since card collection began on December 12, the Lagos state INEC office has reported 14,000 collections per day.
Mrs. Adenike Tadeshe, INEC Director of Voter Education in Lagos state, hopes that taking the cards to wards and local governments will help with card collection.
“Now, by January 15 and 16, we will be taking the cards to all the 245 wards in Lagos State and from there to the local government areas, so this will bring the cards closer to the people for collection,” she told Punch Newspapers.
There are 300,000 unclaimed PVCs in Ondo state, 205,127 in Ekiti, 661,783 in Edo, 437,454 in Osun, 49,000 in Plateau, 231,900 in Gombe, 132 623 in Anambra, 200,000 in Adamawa, and 409,604 in Cross River.
Uncollected cards total 700,000 in Oyo state, 80,117 in Borno state, 400,000 in Ogun state, 300,000 in Imo state, 160,966 in Kogi state, and 120,602 in Kwara state.
According to INEC officials across the states, a significant number of the uncollected PVCs are from previous elections. The Edo state INEC Head of Voter Education, Mr Timidi Wariowie, revealed that at least 400, 000 of the 661,783 cards in the Edo state offices are old cards.