The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),has extended the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by eight days.
Decision was reached by the Commission
on Thursday, after its regular meeting in Abuja.
A Press Statement by National Commissioner & Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye made available to ATN confirmed that the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday 29th January 2023 instead of ending on Sunday 22nd January 2023,adding that the period of collection is 9.00am - 3.00pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays.
He said the Commission is encouraged by the turnout of registered voters and the surge in the number of collected PVCs across the country.
Okoye observed that in some of the States, as many as 100,000 PVCs were collected in the last five days since the devolution to Ward level started on Saturday 6th January 2023.
The National Commissioner reiterated INEC's determination to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election.
He also informed that as a result of this change of date, there is a consequential adjustment of the collection by location as follows:
- Collection at Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one week from Monday 16th - Sunday 22nd January 2023.
- Collection at Local Government level will resume on Monday 23rd - Sunday 29th January 2023.
Meanwhile, INEC has disclosed that it has commenced investigation on the allegations of extortion by officials at some of the collection centres and inducement by some unscrupulous voters to circumvent processes in order to obtain their PVCs.
The Commission has assured that those found culpable will face disciplinary action or prosecution.
Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been directed to ensure that there is no discrimination in the issuance of PVCs in some locations as well as ensure that no such practices occur nationwide .
The Commissioner incharge of voter education,Barr Okoye said INEC is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of PVCs in some locations which is is against the law.
While insisting that all bonafide registrants are entitled to their PVCs and to use them to vote on Election Day in any part of the country where they are registered, Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have also been directed take immediate disciplinary action against violators.
The statement also confirmed that thirteen million,eight hundred and sixty eight thousand,four hundred and forty one (13,868,441) PVCs has been printed by the Commission for all new valid registrants as well as applicants for transfer or replacement of cards.
INEC while directing issuing officers to compile any complaints about non-availability of cards and forward them to their immediate supervisors for the attention of Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) who shall compile and forward them for necessary action, it also expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their patience and perseverance as the Commission continue to finetune the process to make the collection of PVCs easier.
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