*Extends PVCs distribution by one day in Kano
By Augustine Osayande with agency report
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday denied delisting duly registered persons from the Register of Voters for the 2015 general election as being speculated by some politicians.
The commission therefore assured Nigerians that properly registered voters will get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) for the 2015 general election.
The Commission in a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said the reassurance is against the backdrop of temporary challenges that have been experienced in the third phase of the distribution of PVCs in some states, which the Commission has been making vigorous efforts to remediate.
“INEC has since Friday November 7th, 2014, been distributing PVCs to registered voters in nine states across the country under the third phase of the exercise. Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) is scheduled to hold in the same states from Wednesday, November 12th to Monday, November 17th, 2014.
“Similar exercises have already been conducted in 24 other states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the first and the second phases of the programme.
“The Commission deferred the distribution of PVCs in four other states it had earlier listed for this third phase because the cards for those states have not been fully delivered by printers. It is partly for the same reason that the Commission rescheduled the distribution of PVCs in limited areas of Lagos and Nasarawa states.
“The outstanding cards will, however, be certainly distributed in good time before the 2015 general election. They are presently being produced and have been scheduled for distribution under the fourth phase of the exercise from Friday, November 28th to Sunday, November 30th, 2014” the statement read.
Idowu added that it is completely false that INEC has removed the records of 1.4 million persons from the Register of Voters compiled in 2011 in Lagos State.
“It is true that at the end of the 2011 general registration exercise, the Commission announced a figure of 6.1 million registrants in the state. But when that data was subjected to the Automated Fingerprints Identification System (AFIS) software, 82,892 multiple registrations were eliminated.
“Also, there was the technical challenge of loss of data and incomplete data affecting about one million records – mostly in 1,792 polling units that were identified and made public before the present exercise. That was why/how the Post-Business Rule figure for Lagos State (on the basis of which PVCs were printed) came down to about 4.6 million registrants”.
He said for avoidance of doubt, a pre-acknowledged data loss and incomplete data of some registrants is not a ‘conspiracy’ issue as has been alleged by some notable persons.
“It is a back-end technical challenge that is far from sealing the fate of affected persons, and for which INEC has already put in place measures to ensure redress.
“The Commission has made provision for eligible persons for whom PVCs could not been printed due to data loss or defective data to come out from Wednesday, November 12th to Monday, November 17th, 2014 for their data to be recaptured during the CVR. In special consideration for the 1,792 polling units in Lagos State where the challenge of data loss is much pronounced, the CVR will take place at the polling unit level, as against the Registration Area (RA) level in other parts of the state”.
Idowu said the Register of Voters is the most important bedrock of the credibility of any election and reassures the public of its unwavering sincerity of purpose.
“The Commission regrets the inconvenience caused members of the public by the initial hitches in the present exercise and pledges to attend to every eligible registrant within the scope of its outlined schedules. The Commission also restates its determination to ensure that the 2015 general election meets up to global best standards, and solicits the cooperation of all Nigerians in this regard”.
Meanwhile, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has extended the distribution of Permanent Voter cards (PVCs) in Kano State to Monday, Nov. 10.
NAN reports that with this development, the commission has extended the exercise, which was supposed to end on Sunday, by a day.
Alhaji Abdullahi Danyaya, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state 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.