The national chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru M. Jega, said the commission has distributed over seventy five percent of Permanent Voter Cards,PVCs, to registered voters across the country.
Speaking at a lecture titled ‘INEC and the 2015 general elections: expectations, prospects and challenges’ at the Bayero University Kano on Monday , Jega said the commission has decentralised the distribution of the remaining cards from local government level to ward level, adding that the distribution time has also been extended to allow voters collect their cards at ease.
” We have distributed over 75% of permanent voter cards across this country. But there is still anxiety on what would happen to the remaining cards, so we have decentralised the process of destitution of the cards from local government to ward level. We have also extended the distribution time from its earlier times. This is to ease the process for people to collect their cards.”
According to him, INEC is working assiduously to ensure that every registered voter in the country has collected the voter card before the next month’s general elections, stressing that the commission would not allow collection of the cards by proxy as that would lead to election irregularities.
On security, Jega maintained that security requirements for the forthcoming elections are formidable, noting that the numbers of Police officers in the country are not enough to accommodate the 150,000 voting points nationwide during the elections.
He added that the electoral body law and guidelines provide that three security personnel should be stationed at each polling unit, stressing that the commission has to seek the combination of other security agents to meet the required security personnel at a polling unit.
He commended the services of State Security Services, SSS, for assisting the commission with information on risk and peaceful areas for the elections, adding that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has also contributed in sanitising areas of drugs that might be used to incite violence during the elections.
However, the chairman further revealed that the 2015 elections results would be announced at the polling units to avert irregularities, stressing that the result would be announced even if an agent of a party refuses to sign the result sheet.
“This time around, results would be announced at every polling unit for any irregularity to be averted. even if an agent of any political party refuses to sign a result sheet we are going ahead to make such a result valid.” He said
He restated commitments towards achieving credible elections next month, stressing that the commission has taken steps to avoid the mistakes of the past and acknowledged the fact that the 2011 general elections was somewhat flawed.
He added that collection of the 2015 elections result would be collated by men of proven integrity to be drawn from the academia.