THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the collection of permanent voter cards (PVCs) to Sunday, January 29, 2023.
The Commission had earlier fixed January 22 as the deadline after it was moved to wards for easy collection.
However, after the Commission’s top officials met on Thursday night, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed that the deadline had been pushed back by eight days.
Okoye said, “The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election. For this reason, the timeframe for the collection of PVCs is extended by eight days.
“Instead of ending on Sunday 22nd January 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday 29th January 2023. At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00am-3.00pm daily (including Saturdays and Sundays).”
According to him, collection at the registration area (ward) level was extended by one week, from Monday 16 to Sunday, January 22, adding that collection at the local government level would resume on Monday 23 and end on Sunday, January 29.
He disclosed there had been reports that INEC officials were extorting Nigerians at PVC collection centres, adding that the Commission would be launching an investigation into the allegation and those found culpable would face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.
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“The Commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of PVCs in some locations. This is against the law. All bonafide registrants are entitled to their PVCs and to use them to vote on Election Day in any part of the country where they are registered.
“Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and should take immediate disciplinary action against violators,” he said.
Okoye, commending the perseverance and patience of the people over PVC collection, stressed that the Commission had printed a large numbers of PVCs.
“For the record, the Commission has printed 13,868,441 PVCs for all new valid registrants, as well as for applicants for transfer or replacement of cards. Nevertheless, issuing officers should compile any complaints about non-availability of cards and forward them to their immediate supervisors for the attention of RECs who shall compile and forward them for necessary action,” he said.