The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) will end on February 8, few days to the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Also, INEC has said it would from January 16 commence the distribution of PVCs to their owners at the ward level, an exercise that would last till January 21.
INEC National Commissioner, Professor Anthonia Simbine, who disclosed this while addressing traditional rulers in Niger State at the opening of a one-day stakeholders session in Minna, said the commission would return the collection of voter cards to its offices in the local government headquarters after January 21.
Simbine said the commission would use the Smart Cards readers to determine the genuineness of voters, disclosing that the incident forms had been abolished.
According to him, “We have enhanced the Smart Card readers. The Smart Card reader of 2015 is not the same as the one we have today.”
Similarly, she disclosed that photographing of any form ‘very close’ to the polling box is illegal just as she added that all efforts would be made to ensure that vote buying does not take place during the election.
She warned that nobody should use another person’s PVC during the election, saying apart from the rejection of the PVCs by the card readers, the proxy could be arrested and prosecuted.
Professor Simbine further announced that the register of eligible voters made up of 84,004,084million was distributed to all the registered political parties last week, adding that of the total registered voters, 2,390,035 voters are from Niger State.
$The Commission, she stated, “was diligently implementing its timetable, adding that nine out of 14 activities have been implemented, and we will implement other activities from this week.
“We are not involving state institutions in the electoral process because state officials can be influenced by state governments using subtle threats.”
Simbine further said the governorship election would hold in 29 states of the federation, conceding that “build up to the election is tasking, but with you (traditional rulers) support, we will succeed.”
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Sam Egwu, in an address, said the rate of collection of PVCs in the state had improved tremendously, adding that apart from the 129,000 which was a carryover from 2015, the outstanding PVCs in the state was roughly 154,000.
Egwu said for the 2019 general election, 3185 polling units would be used, insisting that “we are not going to create new polling units.”