By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has said it has observed several hitches in the distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extent the period of exercise across the country.
A statement issued yesterday and signed by its chairman, Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, said there has been a litany of complaints about the inability of INEC staff in charge of the exercise to deliver the PVCs to thousands of Nigerians who heeded calls of stakeholders to come out en masse to collect their PVCs.
“In Lagos, Kano, Imo and several other states across the federation, the process of PVC distribution has frustrated many Nigerians, including the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who lamented the inability of INEC to deliver on its promise to ensure the exercise goes ahead after two postponements.
“In many of the collection points, less than half of the PVCs were not collected because registrants neither found their names on available list nor were they able to get to their correct points of registration due to obvious changes.
“All of these portend a grave danger for the electoral process, especially the 2015 elections, which are less than four months away. Without the PVCs, voters would automatically be disenfranchised, then impacting negatively on popular participation in the electoral process.
“It is with this impending danger of mass disenfranchisement of eligible voters that we call on INEC to immediately begin taking steps to rescue the process of PVC distributions from the jaws of failure. INEC should mobilize all its structures and resources concerned to intervene in the process of distribution. It should also begin to look into the myriad of issues that have dogged the PVC distribution process”, the statement said.