The Benue state government has voiced alarm over the difficulty in obtaining Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for a number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state so they can participate in the upcoming elections.
At the beginning of the monthly distribution of food and non-food supplies to IDPs at the SEMA headquarters in Makurdi, Dr. Emmanuel Shior, the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, raised the issue.
“I found out that virtually all of them registered, but not all of them have acquired their PVCs,” said Dr. Shior, who made this statement on a recent routine visit to the IDPs to interact with them and determine whether they were properly registered and had received their PVCs.
“They are unhappy, and I am also unhappy. The Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, is to blame, not the Benue state government or SEMA. “But the ones that have their PVCs, a good number of them, are ready to vote.”
The SEMA Executive Secretary complimented Governor Samuel Ortom for increasing the month’s intervention and praised him for providing monthly provisions for the IDPs to ensure their maintenance.
In response to an assertion made by the executive secretary of SEMA, Mr. Terkaa Andyer, the public information officer for INEC in Benue State, stated that “the commission went around to capture all IDPs who possessed voter cards.
“The commission profiled them in a way that allowed for the printing of their cards for them. Unfortunately, the majority of them live in rural areas. We couldn’t produce cards for them using the data we collected.
“They (IDPs) were at fault, not the Commission, because they were unable to provide us with enough information to enable us to create cards for them. The Commission did not consciously intend to deny the IDPs in the State their right to vote.