There are strong indications that millions of Nigerians of voting age might be disfranchised in next year’s general elections because their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) have either been lost or damaged. Majority of these people are currently in various internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, especially in Northern and North Central parts of the country. Some have relocated because of insecurity in their area. In Borno and Yobe states, millions of Nigerians are in IDP camps due to the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. And in the North Central states of Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Niger, Fulani herdsmen have sacked people from their homes and burnt their houses, forcing them to them to also take refuge in camps. Down South, Ebonyi State has also witnessed herdsmen attacks and communal clashes. Apart from loss of property and other personal belongings, some (if not most) of these people have also lost their PVCs. In all intent and purposes, they have been disenfranchised from voting in next year’s general elections.
Early last year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Administrative Secretary in Maiduguri, Borno State, Abdulhamid Buba said the commission has over 73, 000 unclaimed PVCs. He believed the owners might be victims of Boko Haram attacks who might have relocated to IDP camps. On a happy note, however, Abdulhamid disclosed that 8, 105 persons whose PVCs have either been lost or damaged, have had their cards replaced while 731 who applied for transfer, had their requests granted.
INEC has said a voter whose PVC was lost or damaged can apply in person to the electoral office, at least, 30 days before an election and a new one would be issued to him/her.
Full Article: Why millions may not vote in 2019.