INEC tasks parties, politicians on collection of PVCs
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Delta State, Rev Monday Udoh Tom, has said the 2023 general elections will not be conducted as usual, hence he called on politicians and political parties to mobilise their followers to collect their permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) as that is the only criterion for voting during the election.
He said the belief that anything could be manipulated to win the election was no longer possible as the commission has tightened every loose end, saying it’s only PVCs that are collected that would be counted for voters on the Election Day.
The Delta REC, who decried the nonchalant attitude of leaders of political parties to stakeholders meetings called by INEC, said politicians and political parties are the beneficiaries of the PVCs, arguing that without collection of the PVCs, the mass rallies and campaigns would not yield needed result.
At the stakeholders meeting called by the INEC on Tuesday, in Delta State, all the leading political parties in the state were conspicuously absent as only journalists, a Reverend Father and a few members of civil society groups were at the meeting with INEC officials from the 25 local government areas of the state.
Revd. Udoh, who said INEC has done all it could to mobilise Deltans to collect the PVCs, expressed disappointment at the response from both the political parties and Deltans, saying though INEC is doing a thankless job, the people and politicians are not responsive to their calls.
He said political parties are supposed to be in the forefront in the collection of PVCs but regrettably, the parties do not show up for meetings just as they are not sensitising their people to collect their PVCs.
He said INEC staffers are going through pains to ensure the cards are collected but the response from the political parties and the people has remained abysmally poor.
In a speech delivered at the stakeholders meeting, he said, “Following the display of preliminary register of voters to correct some anomalies in the register, a total of 1, 562 claims were made while 65 objections were recorded across the state.”
He said collection of the PVCs at INEC local government offices would begin from December 12 to January 6, while collection of PVCs at ward levels wouvld begin from January 6 to 15, 2023, thereafter it would return to local government level from 15 to 22 January 2023.
The INEC’s Head of Information and Communication Technology in the INEC, Engr. Mba Onuoha, said 16.2 percent of PVCs have been collected in Delta, adding that 17,115 transfers were made while 70, 300 new registration, have been made available.
Onuoha who was represented by Engr. Mercy Ehikhametalor, said a total of 326576 PVCs are available both old and new with 52, 868 so far collected, adding that the commission has been pleading with all Deltans to collect their PVCs.
Meanwhile, INEC has met with heads of security personnel, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders ahead of elections.
According to the REC, Dr. Oliver Agundu, the meeting was to express the commissions readiness to conduct a transparent, credible, fair and inclusive election in 2023, adding that it was also to update them on the collection of PVC’s and to solicit support and partnership to be able to deliver its core mandate.
Agundu said, “The main purpose of our meeting is to express our readiness to conduct a transparent, credible, fair and inclusive election come 2023. It is also to seek collaboration and support from all of you so that unfolding events, especially as they relate PVC collection.”
He pointed out that INEC is an unbiased umpire that is committed to fairness, transparency and credibility in the conduct of elections, seeking to give Plateau State the most transparent election in history, adding that he had toured all the 17 local governments in the state to meet with staff of the commission and have on the spot assessment of facilities.
“The commission has activated all measures to track and isolate electoral offenders in line with the provision of the Act. I call on all stakeholders to put all hands on deck, to ensure that the revolutionary and transformative provision of the new Electoral Act becomes a reality. I urge all political candidates to advise and mobilize their supporters to visit the INEC offices to get their PVCs in readiness for the forthcoming elections”
The Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bartholomew Onyeka, promised the commission of the police unalloyed commitment towards ensuring a peaceful election in the state.
Onyeka called Plateau citizens to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during campaigns and the forthcoming election.
On her part, State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Kaneng Pam – Hworo, said the agency would do its best in sanitising the public on the need to collect their PVCs and conduct themselves peacefully during the 2023 general elections.