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James Apam, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kogi said that 170,664 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) are yet to be collected by their owners.

Mr Apam, who disclosed this in Lokoja on Friday during a stakeholders meeting, said there was an urgent need to get the cards across to their owners before the November 16 governorship election in the state.

He told stakeholders, including political parties, security agencies, Media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lokoja that the commission would commence the distribution of the cards on September 2.

He said that mobile teams would be engaged to go from place to place on designated days to ensure that the electorate were not disenfranchised as a result of the non-collection of the cards.

The commissioner said that YiagaAfrica, a CSO, had applied to monitor the process to ensure that the cards got to their rightful owners, adding that electoral officers were holding meetings at various levels to ensure the success of the mobile distribution of the PVCs.

He also said that non-sensitive materials for the November 16 election had been received and would soon be distributed to the local government areas.

He said that the non-sensitive materials would also be sorted out.

This, according to him, is to address issues of shortages that necessitated postponement of the last general election.

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“We have also started training our own staff and ad-hoc staff training is to commence later in September to compliment the Youth corps members who will serve as our Polling Officers during the exercise.

“Ad-hoc staff are now to get appointment letters, this time, with their account numbers supplied. We shall pay them through their banks to avoid issues of non payment,” he said.

On complaints of non-payment arising from the last exercise, Mr Apam said, “people who actually worked for us and have evidence should come, we will pay them, we have a budget for that and we will pay everyone. We are not going to “chop” your money.”

As part of the arrangements for the November election, the commissioner said the commission had started “taking data of those with disabilities, those on wheelchair, places of worship, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

“These will also be incorporated into the training of the ad-hoc staff,” he said. (NAN)

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