CALBAR – Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has restated the commission’s resolve to ensure the successful distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to all eligible voters nationwide. Jega restated this at the opening of a two-day workshop for electoral officers in Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Delta, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, FCT, Jigawa, Yobe and Sokoto, in Calabar on Friday. The workshop was organised to train 3,000 officers for the second phase of PVC distribution and conduct of Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR). Represented by Mr Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River, Jega said the exercise was aimed at ensuring success of the 2015 general elections. He warned that no one would be allowed to collect the PVC by proxy, adding that those who flouted relevant laws regarding the exercise risked various jail terms.
[eap_ad_1] The chairman said that a reliable voter register was the bedrock of a sustainable democracy, and charged distribution officers to adhere to instructions while issuing the PVCs. “The PVCs cannot be collected by proxy or collected without the thumb-print of the holder. Evidence of personal collection, the names of all who collected must be written on the Distribution Register (DR). “The DR is a control measure that Section 16 of the Electoral Act empowers INEC to adopt in issuing voter cards to be compiled by the distribution officer,’’ he said. He said the last governorship election in Ekiti witnessed the use of the PVCs which brought to an end the use of Temporary Voters’ Cards for all elections in Nigeria. “The just concluded successful Ekiti governorship election heralded the commencement of the use of the PVCs, and also brought to an end the use of the TVCs for all elections in the country,’’ Jega said. In his remarks, the Director, United Nations Development Project, Mourtada Deme, said the training was aimed at strengthening the democratic character of the Nigeria political processes. “The project is to strengthen the democratic character of the Nigeria political process through the promotion of outcomes that consolidate and advances democratic governance and accountability in Nigeria,’’ he said. Deme, represented by Prof. Bolade Eyinla, said the UNDP/Democratic Governance for Development Project, also sought to improve INEC’s institutional capacity to enable it succeed. “It seeks to promote sustainable electoral process in Nigeria by engaging INEC to improve its institutional capacity, operational competency to enable her undertake the continuous voters’ registration and ultimately issue the PVC,’’ Deme said. Deme advised the electoral officers to safeguard all sensitive materials in their possession while discharging their functions. “As INEC electoral officers at the state and local government areas, you are not only charged with the onerous responsibility of taking custody of the voters’ register, you are also to ensure the efficient distribution of the PVCs.’’ (NAN)