Mr. Mike Igini, a resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo state, has announced the recovery of 983 permanent voter’s cards from anonymous individual, which he believed were among the 3,661 PVC’s forcefully hijacked and carted away fro INEC officials who were distributing them at 18 polling units in Orhionmwon local government area of the state last November.
The identity of the anonymous person who returned the cards and how they were returned to the Commission were however not disclosed, but he simply stated that he took delivery of the cards after receiving “anonymous calls” about their return, describing the receipt of the PVC’s as “good news.”
“I received anonymous calls saying that they were going to return those permanent voters cards. That is good news,” explaining that 661 of the cards were for Urhonigbe North, while the remaining 322 cards were for Urhonigbe South polling units.
The Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner thereafter called for the return of the remaining stolen PVCs yet to be recovered, to enable their owners have the opportunity of voting for candidates of their choice during the forthcoming elections.
According to Mr. Igini, a total of 1,861 card readers, had been received by the Benin office of INEC for the elections in the state, just as he assured that the application of the cards would ensure that only accredited voters were allowed to vote.
He further explained that an eligible would complete accreditation in less than a minute, using the card reader which also has a 14-hour battery capacity.
Commenting on the level of voters participation, the REC disclosed that 1,046,960 PVcs had been distributed, but stressed that challenges facing the Commission was not the collection of the PVCs but how to mobilise the over one million eligible voters in Edo to participate at the polls.
He also expressed displeasure that non of the political parties in the state had registered their agents with the commission since they were notified a year ago.
Igini said the he was set to receive 1,426 PVCs from inter and intra state transfers, adding that the process of distributing the PVCs for persons who took part in the Continuous Voters Registration exercise would commence as soon as the they arrived next week.
The event was attended by representatives security agencies, civil society organisations, NOA and the National Youth Service Corps, while leaders of the various political parties were signed a pact for violence-free elections.