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Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it has started the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the FCT ahead of Area Councils elections scheduled for Feb. 12.
INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Abuja on Friday that the Commission printed 39, 208 new PVCs.
He said they would be distributed to registered voters who participated in the recently-suspended Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) in the territory.
He also said the distribution would cover those who requested for transfers, replacement of lost or damaged PVCS and update of voters records.
Okoye said that the distribution of the cards began on Monday and would end on Feb. 4, and urged registered voters yet to collect their cards to do so.
“All those that participated in the CVR in the FCT are encouraged to collect their PVCs in the six Area Councils.
“We encourage those that registered previously and have not collected their PVCs to seize this opportunity and do so.
“Those that transferred their registration from one Area Council to the other or from other states to the FCT are encouraged to approach INEC Area Council offices to collect their cards.
“Those that applied for replacement of lost or damaged PVCS and update of voters records should do same,’’ he said.
The national commissioner recalled that 42, 986 Nigerians completed their registration in the FCT.
Okoye said that after diligent verification and cleaning up of data using the Commission’s Automatic Biometric Identification System, 14, 665 multiple registrants were weeded out leaving 28,321 valid registrants.
He said that the Commission might not extend the time provided for the collection of PVCs.
“Those that made the necessary efforts to register should go the extra mile by collecting their PVCs and exercising their democratic mandate,’’ he said.
Okoye emphasised that the Commission did not print PVCs for those that engaged in multiple registrations as their previous registration were still valid.
He explained that they could vote in the Polling Units and Registration Areas of their extant registration.
“The new registrations have been quarantined and the Commission will at a later date decide on the fate of those that engaged in electoral malfeasance,’’ he also said.
The FCT Area Councils have 68 constituencies for six Chairmen and 62 Councillors.
Elections for the chairmanship positions will be contested by 55 candidates (52 males and three females) while the Vice-Chairmanship elections have 47 males and eight females sponsored by 14 political parties.
The 363 candidates contesting for the Councillorship positions consist of 332 males and 31 females.
Overall, 473 candidates and their running mates are vying for the 68 elective positions.