INEC has insisted that there will be no more extension of the PVC collection deadline.
Glamtush reports that with just about 15 days to the presidential election scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 25, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed the possibility of extending the period for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).
Speaking on Channels TV’s ‘The 2023 Verdict’, the INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said while INEC did not intend to disenfranchise any Nigerian, it was impossible for the period of PVC collection to be extended.
Okoye, who noted that the presidential election is just about 15 days away, said the commission needed to move its staff from the responsibility of PVC distribution to focus on preparations for the election.
“Unfortunately, this commission can no longer extend the period of collection of the PVCs,” Okoye said, “this is because we have just 15 days to go” for the presidential election.
Okoye further said the staff of the commission needed time to be ready for the collection of sensitive materials “required for the conduct of this particular election.
“They have to also make arrangements for the places where we are going to house the ad-hoc staff overnight before they are deployed at the first light to the various polling units. They have to also inspect the various polling units to make sure that the polling units are fit for purpose and ready for the 2023 general election.
“So, we have so much to do and we need to get our staff ready for this exercise,” adding that the staff were also responsible for the “configuration of the BVAS” machines in readiness for the election.
Admitting that there are possibilities that some Nigerians might have not been able to collect their PVCs “due to no fault of theirs”, the INEC commissioner, who said it was “unfortunate and is not the intention of the commission to disenfranchise any Nigerian”, noted that the commission’s staff’s responsibilities were more than issuance of the PVCs, adding that a “tabulation or summary” of the already collected PVCs in polling units, electoral wards, local government areas and states must be obtained by the commission to enable it make the figures available to Nigerians.
Glamtush reports that INEC had extended the deadline for the collection of the PVCs two times after the first deadline. The commission first set January 22, 2023, as the deadline for the PVCs collection before it extended it by one week to January 29. After much pressure and fearing that many Nigerians might not be able to collect their PVCs within the first extended deadline, INEC again extended the deadline for the collection of the PVCs to February 5, 2023.
In order to make the collection seamless, the commission had moved the collection of the PVCs from local government offices to the ward level and back to the local governments.