Professor Mahmood Yakubu

More than 72 million Nigerians have been cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to vote in tomorrow’s presidential and National Assembly elections.

They represent 86.63 per cent of the 84 million registered would-be voters who collected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said yesterday at his daily news briefing.

Besides, the INEC boss said he was not contemplating resigning from office.

He said that 72,775,502 million of the 84,004,084 registered voters collected PVCs before the commission withdrew all the 11,228,582 uncollected last week Monday.

The withdrawn PVCs will be kept until after the elections on March 9. Only PVC holders will be allowed to vote.

Briefing reporters and observers, Prof. Yakubu said he had never contemplated resigning his job.

“I see no reason why I should resign,” he stressed.

On INEC’s preparation for the polls, Yakubu said 19 states had fully deployed electoral materials to local government areas.

The remaining states, except Bayelsa, were expected to complete the process yesterday. The process will be concluded today in Bayelsa.

On PVC’s collection, Yakubu noted: “The last date for the collection of PVCs was Monday, 11th February, 2019. Out of 84,004,084 registered voters, the total number of PVCs collected stands at 72,775,502, which represents 86.63 per cent of the total PVCs collected.”

The breakdown and percentages of collection on state by state basis shows Katsina leading other states with 98 per cent PVCs collection rate; Taraba trailing with 97 per cent; Kebbi (95 per cent) and Zamfara 94 per cent).  Yobe State recorded 92 per cent collection.

Lagos has the highest number of uncollected PVCs with 1.038 million.

According to INEC’s breakdown of the number of registered voters and collected PVCs, Katsina with 3,230,230 registered would-be voters, 3,187,988 collected PVCs, which is 98 per cent. Taraba states follows closely with 1,777,105, with collection of 1,729,094, which is 97 per cent of total registered voters.

Kebbi and Gombe states have 95 per cent collection rate each. Kebbi with 1,806,231 registered voters has 1,718,180 collected PVCs and Gombe with a population of 1,394,393 voters has 1,335,223 collected PVCs.

Zamfara and Bauchi have 94 per cent collection rate. Zamfara with registered population of 1,717,128, has 1,626,839 PVCs collected.  Bauchi with registered population of 2, 462,843, has 2,335,717 PVCs.

Kaduna registered 3,932,492 would-be voters;  3,648,831, representing 92 per cent, collected PVCs.

Akwa Ibom and Enugu recorded 91 per cent collection rate. Akwa Ibom with 2,119,727 registered voters has 1,933,362 PVCs collected. In Enugu, of the 1,944,016 registered voters, only 1,787,537 picked up their PVCs.

Adamawa, Sokoto, Niger and Cross River recorded 90 per cent collection rate.

Abia and Nasarawa states recorded 89 per cent   collection rate; Ebonyi and Rivers recorded 88 per cent collection. Kogi has 87 per cent collection rate. Delta, Borno and Kano states have 86 per cent collection rate.

Plateau, Lagos and Anambra recorded 84 per cent collection rate; Bayelsa recorded 83 per cent; Kwara (81 per cent); Edo 78 per cent and Jigawa (77 per cent).

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has 76 per cent collection rate. Oyo and Imo have 74 per cent.

Yakubu said the remaining 11,228,582 million had been deposited at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices.

Of the uncollected PVCs, the recent registration accounted for 3,410,677 million. More than 14 million voters were captured in the exercise.

On the fate of Rivers and Zamfara states APC, Yakubu reiterated  INEC’s plan to obey court orders.

He foreclosed another postponement of the rescheduled elections.

Yakubu said: “We are fully on course. There is no state that has not commenced the deployment to LGAs. In fact, 19 states have fully deployed. By the end of the day, all states and FCT would have deployed, except Bayelsa State which is moving direct from our State office in Yenagoa to the RACs tomorrow.

“Tomorrow, activities at ward level will commence with the activation of the Registration Area Centres (RACs) at 9.00am while the movement of personnel and materials will commence at mid-day. This is the last staging post before deployment to 119,973 polling units leading to the opening of polls at 8.00am on Saturday (tomorrow).

“I want to assure the nation that going by our revised   timetable and schedule of activities, this deployment will be concluded today. We are fully prepared for the elections.

“There is no state that has not commenced the deployment of electoral materials to the local government areas. In fact, 19 states have fully deployed.

“By the end of the day, all the states and FCT would have deployed, except Bayelsa State which is moving direct from our state office in Yenagoa to the Registration Area Centres tomorrow.”

He also announced that a visa arrangement was on for foreign observers who were affected by the postponement of the elections.

(The Nation)