Religious Groups Urge INEC To Declare Number Of Collected PVCs

Adbullahi Kaugama

 

Religious groups have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to declare the total number of Permanent Voters Cards collected so far and those yet to be collected.

Leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) and top officials of the commission made the call on Wednesday during a meeting held with INEC in Kaduna State.

They also urged INEC and security agencies to remain neutral before, during and after the election and to allow the will of the people prevail.

The commission was in the state to emphasize the need for a violence-free exercise, ahead of next month’s general election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adbullahi Kaugama, enjoined the religious leaders to sensitize their followers on the importance of maintaining peace before, during and after the election.

He also informed them that INEC is diligently implementing the timetable and schedule of the activities lined up for the elections, while promising that it will ensure a free and fair exercise.

INEC Reassures Stakeholders in Damaturu Of Its Readiness

inecThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has organised a stakeholders meeting in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, reassuring them of its readiness to hold hitch free elections.

Presided over by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Habu Zarma, the meeting had in attendance representatives of various political parties, security formations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and the media.

The meeting appraised the level of preparedness, ranging from the collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the allocation of polling stations for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) among other issues that will enhance peaceful conduct of the election.

Addressing the gathering, the REC said the PVC collection had reached 91 per cent, stressing that efforts were in progress to ensure that all the IDPs were conveyed to their various polling stations.

Mr Zarma said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Fika and two secondary schools in Damaturu had been reserved for Gulani and Gujba IDPs, expressing sadness that initial plans did not make preparations for IDPs.

The REC stated that there were few cases of the IDPs in Bursari, Gaidam and Yunusari, but expressed happiness that security agencies had reported the return of peace in the areas and hope for smooth conduct of the exercise.

Zarma also said the PVCs of some registered voters in the state were yet to be printed. he explained that the National Headquarters had called for the collection of some printed PVCs, saying the electoral officers of the affected areas are on standby to immediately distribute the said PVCS as soon as they arrived the state.

Speaking on the use of the card reader for the voter accreditation, the REC said only voters identified would be allowed to exercise their franchise, saying; “there are enough card reader with back up of three per each electoral wards”.

The REC called on the stakeholders and people across the state to ensure orderliness that will would way for free, fair, peaceful and credible exercise.

PVC Collection Ends In Nigeria

Permanent_Voters Cards_in_Nigeria PVCToday marks the deadline for the collection of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) across all 36 states of the Nigerian Federation as well as in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had extended the distribution and collection exercise of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by two weeks when the general election was postponed from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11.

INEC said on its website that of the 68,833,476 registered voters only 56,350,776 representing 81.87 percent had collected their PVCs, as at March 17.

On March 19, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Atahiru Jega confirmed the readiness of the electoral body to conduct the 2015 general elections scheduled to take place next week.

Professor Jega gave the assurance at a meeting with Civil Society Organisations in Abuja to assess INEC’s preparedness for the conduct of the elections, which is expected to begin on March 28.

The umpire has however stressed that citizens will only be allowed to vote provided they have their PVC, despite calls from several pvcquarters that the Temporary Voter Card (TVC) be used as an alternative.

Hence, it is imperative that the PVC is collected.

This is also backed by a court ruling which struck out a suit filed by a group, Society for Advancement and Protection of Public Rights, seeking an order to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from exclusively using the Permanent Voter Cards for the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.

65% PVC Collection Rate Recorded In Lagos – REC

pvcAbout 3.67 million people in Lagos have collected their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the general elections in March and April, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akin Orebiyi on Friday told Sunrise Daily.

The agency now has an outstanding of about 1.8 million cards which members of the electorate are yet to collect, while 430,000 are still being expected from Abuja.

“I think, by next week we should have them”, Orebiyi said, assuring residents that they were working to ensure that the cards would be ready before the set deadline for collection, March 8th.

Giving updates on the collection, the REC noted that officials would be stationed at the polling units for the next two weekends, to enable residents have easy access, while collection will hold at their Local Government office on weekdays.

While on the programme, Mr Orebiyi made an attempt to allay fears of possible foul play on election days, by demonstrating how the card readers work with the PVCs, adding that all card readers are configured to work in their assigned polling units.

“It cannot work elsewhere” he said, noting that no one can use any card that does not belong to them.

While explaining how the device works, Orebiyi pointed out that the thumb is the key to accreditation as a card holder will also need his thumb to further verify the ownership of the card.

Obasanjo’s Exit From PDP Is Plus for APC – El-Rufai Campaign Group

ObasanjoThe campaign council of All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, have described the dumping of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as a boost to the fortunes of the opposition party in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 elections in the country.

Addressing journalists at the APC secretariat in Kaduna, Chairman of the campaign council, Mr Suleiman Hunkuyi, noted that whatever reasons that made the former president to dump the ruling party, on which he rode to power for eight years, should be a source of concern to Nigerians.

He noted that if Obasanjo, a highly respected figure in Nigeria and across the globe, should dump his party, it is a plus for the APC.

The campaign council also said that it would soon embark on a statewide campaign to sensitize the people to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the rescheduled elections.

Though, Kaduna is among the states with the highest PVC collection rate so far, Hunkuyi noted that the council would not rest on its oars until those who are yet to pick up the PVCs do so.

On some inciting advertorials against the APC in Kaduna State, Hunkuyi, who served as Commissioner for Finance under the PDP government, called on politicians to dwell on issues and not frivolities.

He also expressed concern over the attacks on APC members and supporters in the state, adding that the party had started compiling some of the cases and would soon petition the Inspector-General of Police on the matter.

PVC Collection: Low Turnout In Onopa Area Of Yenogoa

pA visit to the Onopa Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection centre in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state, shows that many have not collected their PVCs.

It was discovered that if the electoral commission had not rescheduled the election dates, many people would have been disenfranchised for not having their PVC.

The postponement of the general election scheduled for February 14th and 28th, as stated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was triggered by security challenges in the country

INEC officials were at the venue for distribution of the PVCs, expecting people in the area to come in mass to pick their cards but the turnout was low as only few people came.

Some of the indigenes were able to get their cards, while some were given to them by friends. Others were told to come back at a latter date for theirs because it was not ready.

Preye Samuel, one of the victims who was told to come back reacted saying she cannot continue footing her transport expenses as it was the third time she had to come for her PVC.

The problem facing most Nigerians on PVC collection also ranges from; misplaced Temporary Voter Cards, others have issues with their location as they have relocated from states where they initially registered for the PVC, many have misplaced their cards, but they all want to exercise their franchise.

 

Lagos Declares Friday Public Holiday For PVC Collection

PVCThe Lagos State Government has declared Friday a work-free day for its workers to enable them collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).

The State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, enjoined private sector employers to release their workers early to enable those who are yet to collect their PVC to do so in their various polling units.

The Head of Service in the state, Mrs. Oluseyi Williams, gave the directive in a statement that the State Government was desirous of ensuring that all public servants in the state participate in the voting process, adding that they should take the opportunity to go out and collect their PVC at their polling units.

Enjoining private sector employers to release their workers early today for the same purpose, Governor Fashola said “The prosperity and the brighter rewarding future that we all seek, for ourselves and our children over the next four years, would be determined by what we do in the next few days.”

He added, “No sacrifice could be too much a price to secure a better future over the next four years and beyond.”

The Governor noted that in order for democracy to be truly representative, it must be participatory.

He also stressed that such participation confers eligibility and imposes a duty on all the citizens from 18 years and above to vote in the elections even as it also enables them to have a say in the elections.

INEC Records 80% PVC Distribution In Yobe

PVCs-Customs-INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria has recorded 80 per cent distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Yobe State, one of the volatile states in the north-eastern part of the oil rich nation.

The spokesman for the commission, in Yobe State, Bagudu Nma, said, “so far 80 per cent of registered voters have collected their voter cards, as centres have been open for collection across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state”.

On the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) as a result of the prevailing Boko Haram insurgency in the state, Mr Nma said two camps had been opened for the two affected Local Government Councils of Gujba and Gulani.

He said Gujba voters would cast their votes in Damaturu, the state capital while electorates in Gulani would exercise their franchise in neighbouring Fika.

In the state capital, registered voters queued in their numbers to collect their voter cards, with the complain that the commission was grossly under staff as they hardly distribute the cards effectively.

They called for employment of more staff if the deadline of February 8 must be met.

The staff responsible for the PVC distribution in Damaturu are grossly inadequate, as sourcing and issuing of cards to the rightful owners take too much time.

A staff ought to be charged with the responsibility of attending to a ward. But as it is at the venue, the limited number will hardly beat the deadline.

“We have spent over three hours here and we are yet to be attended to. They are too slow in the distribution because they are few. A staff supposed to attend to a ward but that is not the case,” one of the electorates waiting to get his card said.

Meanwhile, trainings for electoral supervisors and officers have commenced across the state.

A visit to the venue of the training revealed that participants are being tutored on electoral proceedings, as they relate to modern times.

Similarly, a one-day voter awareness campaign on voter education had also been organised in the state.

Mr Hassan Garba, who is a resource person at the training, said the turnouts had been generally impressive. He said that the participants would be equipped with the required knowledge of electoral innovations.

A participant at the training, Mr Salisu Garba, said the training would avail them the opportunity to know more about the new innovations concerning the card readers which would tackle the issue of multiple voting recorded in the past.

INEC Extends Deadline For PVC Collection

PVCs-Customs-INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday announced its decision to extend the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to Sunday, 8th February, ahead of the general elections.

According to a statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu the decision to extend the deadline for PVC collection “is intended to give registered voters yet to collect their PVCs the opportunity to do so in readiness for the February 2015 general elections.”

The deadline had been scheduled for Saturday, 31st January, however, several challenges including complaints by Nigerians and logistics on the part of the umpire necessitated a shift in collection deadline.

INEC has now called on “duly registered persons not to delay in going to collect their cards before the expiration of the new deadline”.

“The Commission reaffirms its determination to make the 2015 elections free, fair, credible and peaceful; and urges all stakeholders, including voters, to spare no effort in working towards the same objective,” Idowu noted.

FCT Residents Call For Extension Of PVC Distribution Deadline

PVC DistributionResidents of Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, have appealed for an extension of the period stipulated for the distribution of the Permanent Voter’s Cards by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to avoid many electorates in the city from being disenfranchised.

Many residents who turned out to collect their permanent voters’ cards on Sunday, the last day for the distribution, complained that the process was slow and disorganised at the collection points.

There were also those who lamented the lack of public awareness on the distribution of the permanent voter’s cards. They said that the three days set aside by the electoral body was not enough to distribute the large volume of the voter’s cards in their custody.

Channels Television correspondent who visited some PVC distribution centres, reported the presence of large volumes of Permanent Voter’s Cards stacked in front of members of the National Youth Service Corps at the distribution centres visited and this has been the common sight in the last three days at polling units across the Federal Capital Territory.

The turn-out of residents who had visited to trade their temporary voters’ cards for the permanent ones at the collection points fell far short of the cards yet to be distributed.

While a few centers were orderly, the situation was completely different in others, causing confusion and disenfranchisement.

The Corps members declined to comment about the PVC distribution process and why it was slow.

If the volume of undistributed Permanent Voters’ Cards at the centres across the Federal Capital Territory is anything to go by, coupled with the several complaints of missing names, the residents say their call for an extension of the days for distribution is something the Independent National Electoral Commission would have to pay attention to.