Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has declared that the commission has so far distributed over 75 percent of the permanent voter cards (PVCs) to registered voters across the country.
He spoke at a lecture at the Bayero University, Kano yesterday. The lecture was entitled: “INEC and the 2015 General Elections: Expectations, Prospects and Challenges.”
Prof. Jega, also a former vice chancellor of Bayero University, added that the commission had decentralised the distribution of the remaining cards from the local government level to the ward level, besides extending the time for the distribution.
The measures, he explained were to ensure voters collected their cards with ease across the country.
His words: “We have distributed over 75 per cent of permanent voter cards across this country. But there is still anxiety on what would happen to the remaining cards, so we have decentralised the process of distribution of the cards from local government to ward level. We have also extended the distribution time from its earlier times. This is to ease the process for people to collect their cards.”
He assured that INEC was working very hard to ensure that all registered voters in the country collected their PVCs before general elections in February.
He insisted that the commission would not allow collection of the cards by proxy, saying that would lead to irregularities during the polls.
Jega disclosed that the results of the elections would be announced at the polling units to avert irregularities, stressing that the results would be announced even where an agent of a political party decided not to sign the result sheet.
He added that men of proven integrity, who would be drawn from the academia, would collate the results.
The INEC boss also acknowledged that the number of police officers nationwide was not enough to man the 150,000 voting points across the country. He explained that the electoral law and guidelines provided for three security personnel to each polling unit.
He, however, said the police would be complemented by other security agencies to effectively cover the polling units and achieve the desired results.
He commended the Department of State Service (DSS) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for their contributions to the efforts of the commission to conduct successful polls.
He stressed INEC’s commitment to credible elections next month, assuring that the commission had taken steps to avoid the mistakes of the past.