On Friday, February 22, the eve of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, the major headlines in mainstream newspapers are focused on the number of PVC's collected so far, and the closure of the nation's borders for the highly-anticipated exercise.
Leading the review, Punch reports that just as the clock winds down to the start of the 2019 elections, the total number of Permanent Voter Cards collected by Nigerians for exercise, presently stands at 72,775,502,.
The disclosure was made by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, during the fourth daily press briefing on the preparations for the polls, which held in Abuja on Thursday, February 21.
Yakubu said the figure represented 86.63 per cent of the total PVC's collected.
The commission's chairman also said a total of 11,228,582 PVC's representing 13.37 percent were uncollected.
He said: “The last day for the collection of PVC's was Monday, February 11, 2019. Out of the 84,004,084 registered voters, the total number of registered voters stands at 72,775,502, which represents 86.83 per cent of the PVC's.’’
Mirroring the headline of the previous publication, The Nation reports that INEC has cleared more than 72 million Nigerians to vote in the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday, February 23.
The commission's chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said they represent 86.63 percent of the 84 million registered would-be voters who collected Permanent Voter Cards.
Yakubu also said the 11,228,582 uncollected PVC's had been withdrawn by the electoral commission and will be kept until after the elections on March 9.
He added that he was not contemplating resigning from office.
ThisDay maintains the theme of today's headlines, reporting that the fate of the two leading presidential candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will be decided on Saturday by over 72 million Nigerians that collected their PVC's.
The publication asserts that the presidential poll will be a close affair as both candidates rounded off their campaigns as required by law on Thursday, February 21.
It also points out that the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, in keeping with his promise to give Nigerians daily updates in the run up to the elections, told a press conference that the commission had distributed a total of 72,775,502 PVCs.
Yakubu added that 11,228,582 representing 13.14 per cent PVC's were yet to be collected.
Not to seem like it's following the message of its counterparts down to the letter, The Guardian takes a different angle to the same theme; reporting that about 11, 228,582 out of the 84 million registered voters nationwide will not be able to vote in Saturday's elections, due to their failure to collect their PVC's.
The publication points out that the disclosure was made by the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, at a media briefing in Abuja.
Yakubu said a total of 11,228,582 PVCs representing 13.37 percent were uncollected. Out of this figure, 7,817,905 PVCs were carried over from the 2014-2016 registration exercises while 3,410,677are from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise held between April 2017 and August 2018.
The paper further gives a breakdown of the uncollected PVC's, on a state-by-state basis.
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Rounding things off, Vanguard reports that ahead of Saturday's elections, the federal government has ordered the closure of all borders by noon on Friday, February 21.
The announcement was made in a statement released by the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, entitled ‘Federal Government of Nigeria Closes Border’.
Babandede stated: “Further to the presidential election taking place on February 23, 2019 (tomorrow), the minister of interior has directed the closure of all Nigeria land borders with effect from 12 noon on Friday, February 22, 2019 (today). This is to restrict movements across the borders during the election days.”
To ensure compliance, the Nigerian Police Force and Nigerian Army will deploy personnel and assets across the country for patrol.
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