Lagos occupies a major position in Nigeria’s economic structure, and more crucial to presidential candidates since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
Next month’s election is going to show how more powerful Lagos votes are in presidential election.
On January 8, 2019, Nigeria’s electoral umpire released figures of registered voters in all the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Lagos was ranked number as the state with highest number of registered voters.
The commercial capital has 6.5 million registered voters, leading Kano with more than a million. In 2015, Lagos and Kano States also had the highest registered voters with 5.8 million and 4.9 million respectively.
According to INEC, the total number of registered voters nationwide stands at 84 million, 15 million more than the figure in 2015 which stood at 68 million.
But there is a slight problem:all the registered voters are yet to pick their PVC at INEC offices in the state, making INEC to release another figure: About one million Permanent Voters Cards are yet to be collected in Lagos alone, another huge figure when compared with other states in Nigeria.
However, INEC is putting measures in place to make sure the PVCs get to their rightful owners., to its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Akinbiyi, PVCs would be available for collection from Wednesday by their owners at the registration areas/wards in the state, a move to ensure more voters’ participation in the much anticipated election.
“INEC in Lagos State will, as from Wednesday, Janary 16, devolve the collection of Permanent Voter Cards to the 245 Registration Areas (wards) in the state.
“The exercise is to make collection of PVCs easier for Lagosians.
“The exercise, which will come to an end on Januay 21, will include Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day,” Akinbiyi said in a statement.
According to him, after January 21, the collection will be reverted to the INEC’s offices at the 20 Local Government Areas and other designated centres in the state.
He said that distribution of the PVCs at the local government levels would be sustained until Feb. 8, the last day for collection of voter’s cards for 2019 general elections.
“The Commission, therefore, enjoins all those that have registered but have not collected their cards to make use of the opportunity afforded by the commission to collect their PVCs, as there will be no extension after February 8, 2019,” Akinbiyi said.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that about one million cards had yet to be collected across 8, 462 polling units in the state.
Lagos is crucial and Atiku Abubakar of PDP and President Muhammadu Buhari of APC aren’t going to joke with Lagos’ votes in the February 16 presidential election.
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