The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the low collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by residents of Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
INEC officials expressed their displeasure in separate interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at designated PVCs distribution centres in Bwari on Sunday.
Mrs Chioma Ebere, a Principal Admin Officer with INEC, told NAN that the poor turnout could cause voter apathy.
Ebere said in spite of the voter education by the commission ahead of the council polls slated for March 19 the residents failed to turnout.
She decried the poor turnout, noting that the PVC was the only thing that could guarantee them to exercise their franchise to candidates of their choice.
“We have done our own part by carrying out voter education to create relevant awareness.
“We have announced several times that the first three days of distribution and collection of PVCs will start at the various polling units.
“Subsequently, the fourth day will hold at the registration area or ward levels. So, they already know, we have even communicated through radio jingles and town criers.
“Although the exercise will end at the ward level on Thursday, March 10, I expect people to be more concerned about collection of their cards to ensure their right to vote,’’ she said.
Mr Victor Ejale, an adhoc staff with INEC charged with distribution of PVCs, told NAN that the poor turnout of residents could be attributed to poor awareness creation.
Ejale, who is the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Liaison Officer of Bwari, attributed the poor turnout to failure of community leaders to sensitise their subjects.
According to him, I observed the low turnout since Friday, it is caused by poor sensitisation by the council authorities, traditional rulers and political party stakeholders of the communities.
“Only 26 people have registered to collect their cards since March 4.
“It is disappointing, we urge the various party stalwarts, particularly chairmanship candidates to sensitise people more on the need to collect their cards, to promote democratic growth.’’ Ejale said.
NAN reports that the distribution and collection of the PVCs in the FCT commenced on March 4 at polling units.
The exercise continues from March 7 to March 10 at the ward levels, while from March 14 to March 16, it will continue at INEC area council offices between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
NAN reports that the distribution of the PVCs was being carried out by members of the NYSC at the various centres. (NAN)