Criticisms, lamentations and anger have continued to trail the distribution of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) which commenced in Kaduna on Monday.
Several residents, who faulted the entire process, complained of late arrival of materials and absence of adhoc officials in almost all the distribution centres.
Residents said they had a herculean task in tracing their names on the register displaced on the wall.
Many did not see their names even though the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Haliru Tambuwal, told journalists before the exercise commenced that about 3 million cards had been printed and were ready for collection.
While the exercise could not start smoothly on its first day due to non availability of INEC officials and materials, our correspondent who monitored the distribution reported that D 2 of the exercise also witnessed late availability of materials at most of the distribution centres in the state capital and other surrounding local government areas.
In most areas visited, like Jaba, Kachia, Kubau, Zaria, Sanga, Soba and Makarfi local government areas, residents who had collected their PVCs commended INEC for a job well done, while those who were yet to receive theirs in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, and Chikun local government areas faulted the process.
There were also complaints of missing names on the register as well as non availability of the permanent voter’s cards of those whose names appeared on the voters register.
The residents who trooped out for the exercise were disappointed by the absence of INEC officials at the polling units and designated collation centres as at 12 O’clock in the afternoon.
At the Kabala polling unit, which is the unit of Nigeria’s Vice President, Namadi Sambo, there was no sign of any distribution of voters cards going on. Those who trooped out for the exercise waited in vain and later dispersed in anger.
It was the same situation at some polling units in Ungwar Television and Magajingari polling units in Chikun and Kaduna North local government areas.
Prospective voters expressed fears that they may not vote in the next year’s election if they failed to obtain their permanent voters cards.
However, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Kaduna, Niger and Federal Capital Territory, Chris Iyamoga attributed the delay in the distribution of materials in some places to some logistics problems which he said was being sorted out by the commission.
Since 2011, the agency had planned to replace the temporary cards with the new cards. Despite the money committed so far for the project, stakeholders have expressed disappointment that the commission has not lived up to expectation.
Their fear is that the commission may not be able to complete the exercise before the February 2015 elections.
And as the commission continues with the exercise, stakeholders in Kaduna State are urging its officials to avoid the mistakes and shortcomings that nearly marred the process in some states.