By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said eligible persons registered in ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before 2019 general elections.
The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja.
“Those who registered in 2017, their PVCs will be ready in May; for those who registered in 2018 and those who intend to register will all get their PVCs before the 2019 general elections.
“For now, we are giving priority attention to Ekiti and Osun governorship elections but all registered Nigerians will get their PVCs before the elections, ” he said.
Yakubu said that there were 1,446 centres across the country where the voter registration was ongoing, adding that 400 Direct Data Capture machines had been deployed to hasten the process.
He said that the commission was committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections and improving the electoral process in the country.
He urged the media to monitor the process of forthcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti and report grey areas for immediate actions by the commission.
The INEC helmsman said that the media should collaborate with the commission on the task of ensuring credible elections by exposing any form of irregularities.
He said that discussions were ongoing with telecommunication providers to ascertain the availability of 4G and 3G networks in rural areas to support transmission of election results electronically from polling stations.
He said that the order of the 2019 elections as announced by the commission remained until a new law on elections was enacted.
Yakubu said the commission had completed all preparatory steps ahead the elections and that the election budget would be presented to the appropriate authorities before the end of the week.
He disclosed that the committee constituted to investigate alleged registration of under-age persons in Kano would commence work on Wednesday.
According to him, the commission knows that a credible election begins with a credible voter register and the commission is interested in knowing what exactly happened in Kano.
The chairman assured that only credible voter register would be used to conduct elections in 2019.
In separate contributions, journalists urged the commission to train and monitor the activities of its ad hoc personnel, saying that it was necessary to reduce chances of being compromised.
They urged the electoral umpire to consider the transfer of rural polling units in the North-East to urban centres so as not to disenfranchise Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). (NAN)