Millions of Nigerians whose hopes to vote in the next Saturday and March 2 general elections were dashed due to their inability to collect their Permanent Voter Cards PVCs) before the Friday, February 8 deadline now have the opportunity to collect the cards and vote.
This comes as the Independent National Electoral Commission Friday extended the collection of PVCs from Friday to Monday, February 11 including Saturday and Sunday.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman who announced this at a meeting with States Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja, said the decision followed unimaginable calls from Nigerians for a review the current process of collection of PVCs.
Yakubu stated that the collection of PVCs will now take place from 9am to 6pm daily while the Commission would take urgent steps to address complaints of unavailability of the PVCs of some registered voters before the end the new deadline for the collection.
He reiterated that “after the deadline of Monday 11th February 2019, all uncollected PVCs will be recalled and deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for safe-keeping until after the General Elections when the collection of cards and the continuous registration of voters will resume.”
The INEC Chairman directed all State offices to review the procedure for PVC collection and commit all the staff of the Local Government offices to the collection process.
“Staff are enjoined to be civil in attending to citizens and to escalate issues that they cannot immediately resolve to their superiors,” the chairman said.
He reassured Nigerians that INEC would continue to take every necessary step to ensure that no registered voter was disenfranchised “on account of non-collection of PVCs.”
Yakubu declared that the meeting with the RECs, holding seven days to the beginning of the General Elections, was summoned principally to have a final review of preparations.
“At this meeting, we will undertake a comprehensive review of our preparations. Overall, the Commission is ready for the elections. Nevertheless, we are ever ready to fine-tune processes and procedures in order to serve Nigerians better,” he declared.
INEC met on Thursday with security agencies and the national union representing the road transport workers, Yakubu said.
“Issues of securing the environment for peaceful elections were discussed. Similarly, the issue of logistics, particularly transportation for the delivery of personnel and materials, was discussed,” the chairman added.
James Kwen, Abuja