Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As the deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, expires on Sunday, February 5, registrants in Abia State as well as other parts of South-East, have been expressing frustrations over the hurdles they face at various collection centres.
There have been complaints of un-seriousness leveled against INEC officials.
Ikengaonline visited INEC office at Adelabu Street, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, and it was a tale of woes by enthusiastic registrants.
Some of them said they had been coming to the centre for days but without success.
Registrants were observed clustering around all the windows in the INEC office struggling for attention from the officials inside who appeared overwhelmed by the crowd.
There were also clusters of people within the premises as they searched for their names on the list of successful registrants made available to them by INEC.
The registrants most of whom looked tired and worn out, expressed their total disappointment with INEC for the difficulties they had been put through.
They said that despite waiting for long hours they were told that their PVCs were not ready.
One of them, simply identified as Mr Akoni, said that his name was seen on INEC system but he was told that his PVC had not been printed.
He said he was sad that despite waiting for so long a time, he was not sure if he would ever get his PVC before the deadline.
Similarly, Ferdinand Egbulefu said he had gone to Umuagu Primary School and his Ossah Ward respectively but without success and was referred to INEC office at Adelabu Street.
He said he had been at the INEC facility since morning till 2:00 pm without any success, lamenting that he might be disenfranchised in the forthcoming polls.
Pathetically, a vision-impaired woman who also said she had been around the facility since morning, regretted that her PVC was no where to be found.
“I was here two weeks ago and they said we should fill forms. We did, and today they said we should fill forms again. But they told us they had gone to photocopy the forms.”
She said she would be hurt if INEC denied her the opportunity to exercise her franchise at the forthcoming elections.
When contacted, Head, Voter Education and Publicity Enlightenment, INEC, Mrs Rebecca Jim, appealed for patient with INEC staff, saying that efforts are being intensified to attend to everyone.
She, however, regretted that people had to wait for too long before coming to collect their PVCs “now there is rush.”
INEC has warned that it would not extend the deadline for PVC collection after the February 5 deadline.
See link for the Video. (https://photos.app.goo.gl/GorrbQBYSSAuSmcdA)