January 12, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).
INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, in a statement on Thursday night, said the extension was to enable eligible voters who are yet to collect their cards to do so.
He said the PVC collection deadline was extended from January 22 to January 29, 2023 at the commission’s regular meeting held on Thursday.
“The Commission is encouraged by the turnout of registered voters and the surge in the number of collected PVCs across the country. 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 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:
“1. Collection at Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from Monday, 16th – Sunday, 22nd January, 2023.
“2. Collection at Local Government level will resume on Monday, 23rd – Sunday, 29th January, 2023″, Okoye said, adding that the Commission was investigating allegations of extortion by its officials at some of the collection centres.
“Those found culpable will 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.
“For the record, the Commission has printed 13,868,441 PVCs for all new valid registrants as well as applicants for transfer or replacement of cards. Nevertheless, issuing officers should 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.
“The Commission once again appreciates the patience and perseverance of citizens as we continue to fine-tune our process to make the collection of PVCs easier”, he added.