Feelings of unease and fear are gradually rising over the high volume of foreigners holding Permanent Voters Card (PVC). This is just as INEC disclosed that over 1.5 million PVCs had not been collected. According to Lagos State Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, the total number of registered voters including the number of newly registered voters, stands at 6,609, 115.
However, it has been discovered that some of the registered voters were nationals of Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and other neighboring countries. Thousands of these illegal voters were identified and apprehended by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NHIS) during different raids across the Federation. Mr. Owoeye Rufus, the Deputy Comptroller of the Command, said over 2,000 PVCs had been recovered from expatriates. Rufus said some of the apprehended nationals said they were from Maiduguri and Sokoto, but immigration officers were able to pinpoint their actual nationalities thanks to their training. He further explained that electoral officers might not be able to identify some expatriates since they have similarities with Nigerians.
Owoeye noted that there was a high influx of Beninese and Togolese in Yaba area, and electoral officers in that region should try to fish them out. “We told some of them in Yaba that we are not sending them away, but they are collecting PVC, which is wrong, as they are not eligible to vote. We are ready to seize as many as possible,” he assured. The REC said INEC will collaborate with all concerned stakeholders to stop this trend.
In addition to this, the commission would create additional polling units to accommodate a large number of voters in 2019. He said Lagos currently had 8,462 polling units; 3,667 voting points; 245 wards and 62 political parties which would participate in the elections.