Yiaga Africa has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the date for Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) collection in order for more Nigerians to exercise their franchise during the election.
Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, made the call while speaking on its plans for the 2023 general elections in Abuja on Monday.
INEC had announced 29th of January as the deadline for the collection of PVCs.
However, reports emerged that there were hindrances in some states, as citizens found it difficult to obtain their PVCs.
Speaking on the development, Itodo blamed the slow collection on the failure of the electoral umpire to publish names of invalidated voters.
He said: “We are involved with the PVC collection process, and currently we deployed volunteers across Lagos and Abuja, and across States like Abia under the voting support initiative, and these citizens supporting INEC in the distribution of the PVCs.
“But three things have come up around the PVCs and we would like to use this opportunity to also put that on the table.
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“That one, INEC validated over 2 million records. Now these 2 million records of people, INEC didn’t publish the list of these people, and so these people whose records have been invalidated are not aware, they show up at the collection centers, only to be told that their PVCs are not ready and they have been invalidated.
“But INEC would have published the list of all the invalidated PVCs, so people know and INEC has the contact details of those people, INEC should have contacted those people so they don’t show up at the collection centers thinking their PVCs are ready.
“Secondly, is the unprinted PVCs, there are people whose records were not invalidated, but they show up and INEC informs them that their PVCs are not ready and asked them to come back in two weeks.
“We hope that this two weeks’ timeline or by the end of these two weeks, the PVCs will be ready for the people because people should get their PVCs to cast their vote.
“And thirdly, and perhaps the last and based on our observation, the extension for the PVC collection is indeed a welcome development but looking at all this logistics issues if by the 29th of January sufficient PVCs have not been collected, then INEC should consider extension for the PVC collection to enable people to collect their PVCs because Nigerians are determined to vote in the next elections.”