By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not extend the Sept. 30, deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in Kogi and Bayelsa.
Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Okoye stressed that the commission had no reason to extend the deadline for the collection of the cards in the two states.
He said that enough time had been given to owners of uncollected cards to collect them, adding that the commission adopted measures to reach them for collection.
“We held market outreaches, we called some of the card owners on phone and we also sent out SMS to some of them.
“We approached community leaders in all those places, we also cascaded them to all the places we believe the owners of those PVCs are.
“So, as at today (Monday), there is no reason whatsoever for extending the deadline for the collection of the PVCs.
“We have given people sufficient time to do that. We kept reminding them on daily basis and we were giving a countdown on the deadline in each of the states.
“We have also been informing Nigerians the number of PVCs collected and those yet to be collected.
“So, as at today the commission has not found any reason to extend the deadline.”
Okoye said that INEC needed to close the collection to ascertain the number of cards that would be used during the Nov. 16 elections in the two states.
He added that the commission needed time to continue with its planning and other stages of the elections in both states.
“ When the collection is over, we will recall all uncollected PVCs and make a return to INEC state headquarters.
“Then the final figure of what was collected during the period and the uncollected will be made available to all political parties contesting these elections,’’ he said.