By Leonard Okachie
#TrackNigeria: Some residents of Umuahia, the Abia capital, on Monday, expressed disappointment over their inability to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), in spite of the three-day period of grace.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the exercise on the last day, reports that the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Umuahia North was besieged by a large crowd of people in a last minute effort to collect their PVCs.
NAN reports that INEC had extended the deadline for the collection of the PVCs from Feb. 8 to Feb.11, to enable more Nigerians to collect their PVCs.
Meanwhile, those who were unable to collect theirs have expressed sadness that they would not be able to exercise their franchise during the general elections.
It was learnt that some people, who got to the INEC office early in the day, could not collect theirs due to some problems, ranging from double registration to omission of their names.
Some of them told NAN that they were advised by INEC officials to wait, hoping that more PVCs would be delivered to the office before the end of the day.
Mrs Victoria Amobi, a trader said, “I came here since morning, waiting to collect my card, only to be told to come back for it after the elections.”
Mr Onyebuchi Onyekachi also regretted his inability to colleft his, even after he allegedly abandoned his assignment for the day to be at the INEC office.
“They checked my temporary voter card and told me the PVC was not ready. It is now 3:50 pm and I have been here since 8:30 am.
“For me, it is a wasted effort,” Onyekachi lamented.
An elderly woman, Mrs Vioet Okezie, expressed regrets that she could not collect hers, in spite of making several attempts.
“I was here by 9am, now is 4:05 pm. I came all the way from Nkwoegwu and have been under the sun, in spite of my ill-health, all to no avail,” she said.
She said that she had made up her mind to go back home and forego her right to vote during the polls.
Meanwhile, an INEC official told NAN that additional 200 PVCs were brought to them by 3: 00pm and were being distributed to their owners.
The official, who pleaded anonymity, said that the commission was making frantic efforts to ensure that all the available PVCs were distributed.
NAN reports that some people were still waiting patiently to collect theirs at the time of filing the report, while othersm who could not wait, left the premises complaining bitterly. (NAN)