The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, showed commitment to a smooth conduct of the February general elections, as it said all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) had been printed and are ready for collection.
Reacting to an allegation by the Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, that more than 15 million voters had not collected their cards and 14 million voters cards were yet to arrive the country, INEC, in a phone chat with Vanguard, faulted the claim and confirmed that all PVCs have been printed and are available for collection.
“All the PVCs have been printed. Altogether, 68.8 PVCs were printed. We have received 65 million PVCs which are out for distribution. The remaining 3.8 million PVCs will be out there between tomorrow (today) and Friday,” Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to INEC National Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega told Vanguard.
The commission urged eligible voters that are yet to collect their PVCs to ensure they do so as soon as possible, to ensure hitch-free polls, warning those without the cards not to come to the polling booths during the elections.
Speaking at a stakeholders consultative meeting towards a successful and violence-free 2015 election, hosted by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Akin Orebiyi, threatened to arrest those found around polling units on election day without voters cards.
In Lagos, out of more than four million voters whose PVCs are ready, only 2.3 million had collected. Orebiyi therefore appealed to those who are yet to collect theirs to do so as soon as possible.
“There are various categories of people affected by the PVCs; those who registered in 2011 and whose PVCs are ready for collection now — they should go and collect them if they have not; those who registered in 2011, who saw their names on the displayed register at the polling units — their cards are on the way; those who registered in 2011 but who, for one reason or the other, their data are not on INEC’s records ought to have re-registered; those who registered in 2014 – their cards are on the way, if they have not arrived.
“Those who registered in one particular place and have moved to another location and would like to vote in the new place – they ought to have requested for transfer. If they have, this must have been effected. If not, they can only vote where they registered originally.
“Those who did not re-register when they ought to, we have no PVC for you. Stay at home on election day. Those who never registered and are willing to register now- the registration window is closed. Stay at home on election day,” he said.