INEC - Despite the controversy over the collection of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said 68.8 million PVCs had been produced and ready for collection by duly registered voters in the country.
INEC also said the PVCs of those who were affected when the commission had data losses were ready for collection.
The commission said this category might include the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, Governor Babatunde Fashiola of Lagos State and many other registered voters whom INEC had said their cards were not among those initially produced when their data was mistakenly deleted.
Also ready for collection are the PVCs of those who participated in the recent continuous voters’ registration.
This was disclosed during the one-day workshop for journalists organised by the commission in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kaduna.Also read: APC, NBA call for 3-day holiday for PVCs’ collection
The Deputy Director (Publicity), Nick Dazang, who made this known, said all the cards had been distributed to the collecting centres across the country.
He stressed that so far, 65 per cent of the PVCs had been collected, stressing that with the one-week extension, it was expected that almost all of the PVCs would have been collected.
Dazang also announced that some states had recorded about 80 percent collection.
He said: “At a point in time, the contractor who was producing these cards had machine failure but after sometimes, we overcame it and was able to boost level of production per day from 350 000 to 600 000 per day.
“The one we sublet outside was able to produce 1.4 million on daily basis and that explained why we keep telling people that we have confidence that we will produce this card and every one will get it.
“Now as we speak the PVCs for those whose bio-data were captured during the Continuous Voters’ Registration, that is, those whose data were lost, their cards are available for collection.
“Of course the cards of those who registered in 2011 had always been there on the ground.”
He said these PVCs had been distributed to respective states for collection, “if the owners visit the distribution centres they can collect these cards.’’
He also appealed to Nigerians to go to the respective centres to pick up their cards as he maintained that the voting would only be done with the PVCs.
Reacting to reports that politicians are buying up PVCs, Dazang said it was an exercise in futility as there was no way any other person would be able to use such PVCs because of the card readers that would be deployed for the elections.
He therefore appealed to those buying PVCs not to disenfranchise the electorate by their actions.
Dazang also announced that 152 000 polling officials would be deployed to at the 120 000 polling units in the country.
He explained that all the card readers are polling unit specific, hence can only be used at specified polling unit.
INEC, he also said was still awaiting supply of another 32 000 card readers.
He further urged the public to report any INEC staff who demanded for money before issuing the PVC.
In his remarks, the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) media consultant to INEC, Isa Modibbo, said democracy would be better for it if the people were properly educated; stressing that in this case the media has a major role to play.
He said: “The continuity of our democratic process is better enhanced if we do whatever is within us to educate participants in the democratic process such that they will be in a position to make informed choices.
“I wish to enjoy our colleagues that their reporting will be such that they help build our humanity,’’ he said.
UNDP, Modibbo said would continue to ensure that the capacity of the media was built in such a way that it would continue to be partner in progress.
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