The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has taken delivery of four million Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for distribution to the electorate registered in 2017.
The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Thursday at INEC Campus Outreach on “Youth Votes Count’’ at the University of Abuja.
Mr Yakubu said the PVCs would be delivered to states for onward distribution to the owners in the next few days.
“For the four million voters who registered between April and December 2017, all the cards have been printed and will be delivered to the states this weekend.
“So, by next week they will begin to collect their cards.
“For those who registered in first quarter of 2018 and those being captured in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), I assure you that your cards will be available ahead of the 2019 general elections.’’
He added that PVCs for newly-registered voters in Ekiti and Osun states would also be ready before the upcoming coming governorship elections in the states.
Mr Yakubu disclosed that INEC had so far registered about 8 million new voters in the CVR.
“We have registered about four million Nigerians in 2017; in the first quarter of 2018 we registered about 2.9 million and in the four weeks of the second quarter, as at yesterday (Wednesday), we registered about 1.1 million more.
“At the end of the exercise, we expect that about 11 million Nigerians will have been registered,’’ he said.
He announced the creation of a registration centre at the University of Abuja campus and advised students and other residents close to the campus to make use of the centre by registering.
Mr Yakubu also advised them to endeavor to collect their PVCs and take active part in the 2019 elections, pledging that their votes would count.
“When you collect your PVCs, please on February 16 and March 2, 2019, make sure you go out to vote.
“Let me give you an undertaking that in 2019 your votes will count, in 2019 only the votes cast by Nigerians will determine who wins,’’ he said.
Mr Yakubu said INEC was working towards ensuring that all Nigerians were carried along, including the People Living with Disability as it prepared for 2019 election.
He said the commission would also provide magnified glasses for people with eyesight problem during the election as demonstrated in the recently conducted Anambra governorship poll.
Also, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Michael Adikwu, commended INEC for starting its sensitisation campaign against violence for Nigerian students at the institution.
Mr Adikwu, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Edward Nwana, said INEC action underscored the important of youth as future leaders of the country.
“What is happening today gives the youth a lot of hope for the country that we will have elections that will be credible and defensible in every part of the world.
“I do hope that after today’s session, there will be no doubt that we will all play our roles in ensuring that our electoral processes are credible,’’ he said.
The President of the University’s Students Union Government, stressed the need to carry the youth along in the electoral process.
“It is a great thing for INEC to deem it fit to start the pioneer programme in UniAbuja.
“You cannot take away youths from politics. Youths in politics, leadership and governance is something that must be taken with utmost value if Nigeria must attain greatness in future.
“The step by INEC means that it believes in the youth, not only as the leaders of tomorrow but of today and we will lead ourselves into tomorrow.
INEC ambassadors, Innocent 2baba Idibia, Helen Paul, Cobhams Asuquo , a multi-award winning musician/producer with visual challenge featured at the panel.