Sunday, November 9, 2014 7:53 pm
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has extended till Monday the distribution of Permanent Voter cards (PVCs) in Kano, Ogun and Lagos States. The exercise was initially billed to end today but politicians and voters have generally flayed INEC for the shoddy way it was being done in the three states.
The announcement granting the extension appeared to have been conveyed simultaneously by the INEC commissioners in the three states.
Alhaji Abdullahi Danyaya, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kano announced the extension at a news conference on Sunday in Kano.
He said the extension was due to the late late arrival of materials to many polling units, which led to the late commencement of the exercise last Friday, Nov. 7.
According to him, the extension would also allow the 4.7 million registered voters in the state to collect their voters card.
‘’The distribution of the PVCs to eligible voters was earlier scheduled to end today (Sunday), but the Commission, extends the exercise by one day to afford eligible voters collect the PVCs’’, he said.
He explained that voters register would be displayed in all polling units for people to cross check their names.
According to him, those whose names did not appear in the voters register should endeavour to get registered during the continuous voters registration exercise commencing on Wednesday.
”Those whose names appear in the voters register and are yet to collect their PVC by Monday are advised to proceed to the nearest INEC office in the Local Government areas to collect their cards’’, he said.
He expressed optimism that between 70 and 80 per cent of prospective voters in Kano will be captured in the exercise.
Danyaya, described the exercise so far as successful “because of the impressive turn-out”, and pointed out that no state in the federation would achieve 100 per cent of voters’ turnout.
In Ogun state, the extra day of grace was announced in a prèss statement Sunday afternoon, signed by the State resident electoral commissioner, Mr. Sam Olumekun. Yesterday, there were protests against the shoddy way the PVCs were being distributed, with Governor Ibikunle Amosun going physically to lodge complaints at the INEC office in Abeokuta.
He was met by Professor Lai Olorode, the INEC commissioner for South West.
Voters in 11 local councils of Lagos state where the PVCs were being distributed since Friday have applauded the decision of INEC.
Residents of Ogba and Agege, said that it was a welcome development.
This contrasted with their position on Friday when they left distribution centres in frustration and anger after waiting fruitlessly for INEC officials.
Mr Cosmos Igwe, a business man, told NAN at one of the distribution centres that the extension was expected and in order.
Igwe said that the extension would provide an opportunity for those yet to pick up their cards to do so.
He said that there was the need for the extension due to the large turnout of the residents for the exercise.
“It is only justified to give an extension of, at least a day, considering the fact that nothing happened on the first day of the exercise.
“When INEC officials eventually showed up on the second day, there was a `mad’ rush by the residents.
“Also the fact that the exercise ended by 4p.m. each day left a question on whether INEC will indeed meet the target.
“I must, however, commend members of the electorate who, despite all the odds, remained, resolute in ensuring that they picked their cards,’’ Igwe said.