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INEC to distribute permanent voter cards in June

13 March 2014, 09:51

IIorin - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, said the distribution of permanent voter cards to eligible voters, would  take place between June and September 2014.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, disclosed this in IIorin, while delivering a lecture on challenges of a  fraud-free election under a democratic dispensation in Nigeria.

The lecture which was at the instance of Mustapha Akanbi Foundation, attracted several eminent personalities from all walks of life.

The INEC boss said the new Permanent Voter Cards would  be verified with card readers in the 2015 elections to ensure 100 per cent authentication of voters.

The Chairman expressed optimism that the 2015 General Election will be better than the previous elections.

He said arrangement had been concluded to begin the distribution of permanent voter cards from June.

He said the distribution of the permanent voter cards was part of the preparation of the Commission towards ensuring credible election that will involve minimal litigations.

The Chairman said the Commission has over 6 000 staff who cannot single handedly handle the conduct of 2015 elections.

He states that the Commission has revised framework for engagement of more ad-hoc staff to ensure credible election.

Jega said the Commission had embarked on improved security features to protect electoral materials.

He said the Commission was currently collaborating with stakeholders for enhancement of voter education and citizen engagement.

The Chairman disclosed that the Commission recorded 1 400 electoral petitions after the 2007 General Elections which was reduced to 600 after the conduct of 2011 General elections.

He said the Commission was working round the clock to ensure the number of election petitions were drastically reduced after the conduct of the 2015 elections.

To ensure fraud- free elections, Jega advised political parties to recruit credible and reliable agents to monitor the conduct of the elections

Jega solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians to ensure free, fair and credible election in 2015.

In his remark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, noted that fraud-free election will restore people’s confidence in the electoral process.

He advised INEC to be truly independent and perform its functions without favouritism to any group.

Tambuwal, while addressing newsmen in IIorin on Wednesday, said the Electoral offences Commission would  be in place before the conduct of 2015 election.

The Kwara Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kishira, who was the special guest of honour called on Nigerians to continue to support INEC for development to be attained in the country.

Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd) said he organised the lecture to sensitise Nigerians on how to eliminate fraudulent election in Nigeria.

Akanbi was former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.

-  NAN

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