By Jimmy Jackson
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday extended the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) until Sunday, January 29, 2023.
The National Commissioner & Chairman Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, in a statement released said that the Commission is encouraged by the turnout of registered voters and the surge in the number of collected PVCs across the country.
Okoye disclosed that in some of the States, over 100,000 PVCs were collected in the last five days since the devolution to Ward level started on Saturday 6th January 2023.
“The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election. For this reason, the timeframe for collection of PVCs is extended by eight days. Instead of ending on Sunday 22nd January 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday 29th January 2023. At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00am - 3.00pm daily (including Saturdays and Sundays).”
“As a result of this extension, there is a consequential adjustment of the collection by location as follows:
“Collection at Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from Monday 16th - Sunday 22nd January 2023.”
“Collection at Local Government level will resume on Monday 23rd - Sunday 29th January 2023.”
Okoye also said the commission was investigating the allegations of extortion against some of its officials, assuring that those found culpable will be face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.
“Similarly, the Commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of PVCs in some locations. This is against the law. 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 been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and take immediate disciplinary action against violators.”
The National Commissioner disclosed that a total of 13,868,441 PVCs had been printed for new valid registrants as well as applicants for transfer or replacement of cards.
“The Commission once again appreciates the patience and perseverance of citizens as we continue to finetune our process to make the collection of PVCs easier.”