INEC May Extend PVC Collection Deadline In Some States

The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed the possibility of extending the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards particularly in states which have a low collection rate

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may bow to pressure to extend the Friday, February 8 deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), for the 2019 general elections.

Although INEC has constantly maintained that the deadline for collection of the PVCs is sacrosanct, the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had on Wednesday appealed to the election commission to extend the collection date.

However, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who hinted at the possibility of extending the deadline at the National Stakeholders’ Forum on the 2019 general elections in Abuja, noted that the final decision would be taken after the meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to review the collection.

Yakubu further assured Nigerians that the elections would not be postponed as being speculated in some quarters, emphasising that INEC had already implemented most of the programmes outlined for the 2019 polls.

“I want to assure stakeholders that INEC is prepared for the election. Let me reassure stakeholders and the nation that the Smart Card Readers will be deployed for the 2019 general elections. The next issue is voters register and the PVCs. We have a lot of complaints from citizens, however, the complaints are coming from those who have damaged their PVCs and require replacement, as well as those who applied for transfer and relocation but the cards, have not been found.

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‘Some of you will ask that the last day for the correction of PVCs is Friday, February 8. The commission will meet and the next meeting we are going to hold is with security agencies and where it is necessary we will review the arrangement for the collection of PVCs. No Nigerian is going to be disenfranchised for no fault of theirs.

“We have three categories of ad hoc staff; we have the supervisory presiding officers’ category. We have the presiding officers and assistant presiding officers 1, 2 and 3. The third category is the collation and returning officers.

“Our state offices are responsible for the recruitment and training of the first two categories. We are satisfied with the processes and we are going to do refresher training before the election,” Yakubu said.

He further announced that 148 observer groups have been approved for the election with 119 domestic and 28 foreign observer missions, making a total of 90, 000 observers that would be going around pulling units across the country on the election day.

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