The Plateau office of INEC said on Tuesday in Jos that 20,000 voter’s cards had been abandoned in its offices.
“The cards have been there for years; their owners have not come for them. We are appealing to the owners to come for them,” Mr Abdulrahaman Adamu, the Administrative Secretary of the commission, said at a stakeholders’ meeting.
He said that a 90-day voter’s registration exercise would commence on Thursday, April 27, and advised owners of the abandoned cards to use the opportunity to collect them.
He also advised people against double registration, warning that the machines would detect such illegalities.
The official advised people relocating to other areas to fill a transfer form to facilitate the relocation of their voting points.
Adamu challenged parents, community leaders and politicians to ensured that underage persons were not allowed to register, and called for full support from all stakeholders toward success.
He, however, disclosed that the exercise would be a continuous one so as to avoid `fire brigade’ registration in future.
Leaders of political parties in their speeches, however, urged INEC to conduct the voters registrations at wards headquarters to encourage more eligible Nigerians to participate in the exercise.
Mr Damishi Sango, the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed fear that the exercise might not get the desired mass participation if it was restricted to local government secretariats.
“Such secretariats are difficult to access by those at the rural areas. Some villages are located several kilometres away from the council secretariats and may be discouraged by the huge crowd waiting to be registered.
“When these people consider the long distance they are coming from and how they will go back, they may be discouraged.
“ I suggest that registration booths should be located at least at federal wards for accessibility because
it is only in Jos city that 70 per cent of people can easily go to the units and return with ease the same day.”
Mr Binkur Lohmap, the Assistant Secretary, All Progressive Congress (APC), who spoke in the same vein, urged INEC to do everything possible to ensure that no one was disenfranchised.