By Levinus Nwabughiogu, with agency reports
Kaduna— The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday said the commission had produced Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for all the registered voters in the country.
Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Mr Nick Dazang, disclosed this at a workshop organised for journalists in Kaduna.
INEC had in January announced that it registered 68.8 million voters in the country for this month’s general elections.
Dazang said although the commission earlier had challenges in the production of the cards, it was able to overcome the challenges.
He said the commission had produced cards for those whose data were lost and those recently captured during its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
“At a point in time, the contractor producing the cards had machine failure, but after sometimes, he overcame the problem and was able to boost level of production from 350,000 to 600,000 per day.
“The one we sublet was able to produce 1.4 million daily and that explained why we keep telling people that we have confidence that we will produce the card and every one will get it.
“Now, as we speak, the cards for those whose bio-data were captured during the Continuous Voters Registration are available for collection.”
He said the cards had been distributed to respective states for collection and owners could collect theirs at the distribution centers.”
Dazang also said that no fewer than 65 per cent of the cards had been collected nationwide as at yesterday morning.
“As at last week when we had a meeting with our Public Affairs Officers in Abuja, the commission had distributed 63 per cent of the cards.”
He assured that those who registered would collect their cards before February 14.
Dazang said the commission had taken delivery of 152,000 card reader machines, which would be used at the 120,000 polling units during the polls, adding that each card reader was configured for use at specific polling units.
Dazang also said that non-sensitive materials had been distributed, while the distribution of sensitive materials would begin soon.
Dansang, who commended the level of collaboration INEC had with the media, said the commission would continue to work with journalists to improve the nation’s election process.
“For any election to be successful, the electoral body must work with the media,” Dazang said.
As ex-confab delegates seek polls’ postponement
Meanwhile, barely two weeks to the general election, some former members of the 2014 National Conference, yesterday, called for the postponement of the election, saying INECwas not ready for the polls.
The delegates, in their separate presentations on the issue at a symposium entitled “The National Conference and the 2015 Elections” organised by the HH Macaulay Centre for the Advancement of Democracy in Abuja said going ahead with the election when many Nigerians were yet to collect their PVCs would mean disenfranchising thousands of eligible voters.
Some of the delegates who were mainly discussants included Col. Tony Nyiam, Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu, Madam Anko Briggs, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mr. Yinka Odumakin amongst others.
Senator Femi Okoromu, who was also a delegate to the defunct conference was the chairman of the occasion.
Though some of the panelists differed on the postponement of the elections for fear of prompting violence and protest in the country, some however were in favour of the call.
For instance, former National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu was one of those who supported the call. According to him, INEC had fallen short of the expectations of many Nigerians in the distribution of the PVCs.
Also speaking, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chief Mike Ozehkome also advised that it would amount to the disenfranchisement of many Nigerians should the elections be held as slated without considering the inadequacies of INEC.