By Abbas Bamalli
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Katsina State has expressed concern over the poor turnout of residents registering for the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) in the newly established 1,750 polling units.
Alhaji Jibril Zarewa, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Katsina.
He said that one year after the commencement of PVC registration, there was a poor turnout of people for registration in the newly established polling units.
According to Zarewa, “In May 2022 when we did analysis, we realised out of the 1,750 newly established polling units, about 1,200 units did not have more than 50 people who registered in each of them.
“This registration involved transfers. Some of the polling units have zero registration, some have only one, some five while some have not more than 50 people who registered.
“Although this can be attributed to the suspension of telecommunication networks in 17 of the 34 Local Government Areas (LGAs) for about five months due to the security problem.
“Since the resumption of the exercise in March, out of the 1,750 polling units created, about 1,200 don’t have up to 50 people that registered in each of them.
“We are appealing to the people of those areas where the new polling units were created to go and register, as INEC is always ready for them.
“The reasons for the creation of additional polling units is to serve the areas and decongest the congested polling units through the transfer of their polling units, he said.
He disclosed that initially there were 4,902 polling units in the state but with the creation of the additional ones, there are 6,652 polling units at present.
Zarewa explained that the collection of the PVCs is appreciable, saying towards the 2019 election, INEC had to stop the issuance of the PVCs.
“As at that time, we had about three per cent of our cards collected, which means out of the 3.230 million PVCs, we had, just about 50,000 not collected.
“As of Jan. 12, 2022, we have taken 53,000 from the headquarters, and just a few days ago, we have taken an additional 20,000 for people who made corrections.” (NAN)