By Chinedu James
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will partner with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to disburse uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to its owners before the elections in 2019, elections ombudsman has revealed, one of its national commissioners, Mr Soyebi Adedeji at the Nigerian Civil Society Room Dialogue Session on Osun Election in Abuja.
Worried by the huge number of uncollected PVCs in its possession even as the elections draw near, the electoral body has sought the assistance of the telecom regulator to send messages to owners of uncollected PVCs.
Adedeji said the number of uncollected PVCs was a great concern to the electoral body. There are more 10 million uncollected cards and another 14 million still being processed. Adedeji said it had become necessary to inform the card owners directly through the assistance of the NCC.
Having partnered with the NCC on the electronic transmission and collation of results, INEC remains determined to ensure the elections is free from fraud and avoidable lapses.
“The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has come to an end and INEC has other things to concentrate on since election is a matter of a chain of events. Before the end of the CVR, the commission as at last week had 10 million uncollected PVCs in its possession, now with the end of the CVR, there are additional 14 million registrant cards to be processed within 165 days.
“People need to come and collect their PVCs, it is not just about registering, the collection is the most important thing. When people register, the collection is always less than 50 per cent. We need to find a way to see what we can do about collection so we have decided to partner with NCC to alert Nigerians on the status of their cards,” Adedeji said.
The commissioner further reiterated the commission’s commitment to the conduct of a free and credible election across the country, stating that the commission will employ every strategy to ensure that global best practices of elections are implemented.