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PVCs for ongoing CVR ready January 2023, says INEC

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie (Abuja Bureau Chief) and Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
22 June 2022   |   4:06 am
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) will begin in January 2023.

• May obey court ruling on extension of voter registration
• EU asks commission to checkmate vote buying

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) will begin in January 2023.

It also said it would obey the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja on extension of the CVR.

Speaking at a media briefing, yesterday, to unveil the Youth Vote Count awareness campaign in Abuja, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said only PVCs for Nigerians who registered in 2011, 2014 and 2019 are ready for collection.

The campaign, holding at the old parade ground in Abuja and slated to end on Saturday, was organised by INEC, in partnership with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) and YIAGA Africa.

The event is aimed at mobilising youths for the ongoing registration.

Bello said INEC would support the initiative by deploying more than 50 voter registration machines at the venue, including 150 staff.

He explained: “The CVR will end on June 30, by our own policy. However, the PVCs will not be ready immediately until after the exercise. It is after the exercise that INEC will have time to clean the data.

“Right now the PVCs that are being collected are for those who did their registration in 2011, 2014 and 2019, which we have printed. I want to make it very clear so that people will know that all those that are partaking in this exercise now, if it ends on June 30, will not be able to collect these cards.

“It is a process, and the timeframe will allow us to print these cards, and the collection will not be done until the first month of 2023. Also, PVCs will be collected by persons who registered, not by proxy”.

On the court order restraining the commission from ending the CVR exercise on June 30, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the commission does not disobey court orders.

Though Oyekanmi was not specific on whether INEC had concluded plan to obey the order or not, he said: “The commission has a history of obeying court orders. And we have been asked to come to court on June 29 and present our case. Therefore, because the matter is in court, I won’t say more than that.”

MEANWHILE, following allegations of voter inducement at the recent gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed urgent need for the Nigerian government to address the menace of vote buying.

In a statement signed yesterday by the Officer in charge of Politics, Press and Information, Mr. Modestus Chukwulaka, the EU commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for actions taken in the state shortly after the election.

It also urged INEC to fully implement provisions on financial control of political parties, in line with recommendations of the 2019 EU Election Observation Mission.

Major political parties, following the Ekiti election, traded accusations over voter inducement. Consequently, EFCC officials have made arrests, while investigations are ongoing.

Although the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS was impressed with stakeholders and the people of Ekiti for the peaceful conduct of the election, it emphasised the need to hold candidates accountable for their campaign promises.