Information reaching our political desk had revealed that the Prof. Attahiru Jega led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC may disenfranchise no fewer than one million six hundred and eighty-seven thousand, thirty one (1,638,731) eligible voters from Rivers and Bayelsa States. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is an indigene of the two states.
From the Permanent Voters Cards distribution update released by the national electoral body on Tuesday, in Rivers State out of 2,537,590 registered voters only 1,253,606 Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs were issued so far, which account for 49.9%. While in Bayelsa out of 610,373 registered voters, INEC issued only 286,125 PVCs which amount to 63.26%.
The voting strength of the two sister states (Rivers/Bayelsa) is 3,147,963 votes. But going by the distribution of PVCs, by the INEC officials, the two states have deficiency of 1,638,731 votes, if nothing is done fastly.
Those who do not possess the PVCs may not likely be allowed to exercise their constitutional right in the next month’s general elections.
Speaking to our political correspondent, a prominent member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Chief Aribi Bob called on the management of the nation’s electoral body as a matter of urgency to release all the PVCs in its possession to the rightful owners to enable them to exercise their enfranchise in the February, 2015 general elections. According to him, if this is not done several eligible Nigerians would not to go to the polls to vote during the election.
Chief Bob said that if this ugly situation happens, it will not portray the country in a very good light. It will also affet President Jonathan’s votes from Rivers/Bayelsa States. He, however cautioned Jega not to be biased in the conduct of the February, 2015 polls, noting that millions of Nigerians are still waiting to collect their PVCs. ###