The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by one week from January 29 to February 5.
This is the second time the commission is extending the collection of PVCs due to the progress recorded so far.
Before the latest extension, the deadline, which was initially fixed for January 22, had earlier been extended to January 29.
The electoral body has also released the list of the 436 polling units across the country where it will hold a mock accreditation exercise scheduled for February 4
This is coming as the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has urged Nigerians to maximise the opportunity provided by the extension of the deadline by going out en masse to take possession of their PVCs in readiness to vote for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, come February 25.
According to a statement issued Saturday by the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, “the commission met today, Saturday, January 29, 2023, a day after it met with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and deliberated on some issues, including the reports from RECs on the ongoing collection of Permanent Voters Cards in its 774 local government offices nationwide.
“It will be recalled that at the meeting with RECs on Friday, January 28, 2023, the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu indicated that the commission will not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the general election.
“Having reviewed reports from all the states of the federation, the commission is encouraged by the progress made so far as more Nigerians troop out daily to collect their PVCs.
“Arising from reports from the various states and discussions with Resident Electoral Commissioners, the commission has decided to further extend PVC collection in all its local government offices nationwide by an additional one week.
“The ongoing collection of PVCs nationwide will therefore continue and end on 5th February 2023.
“This is the second time the Commission is extending PVC collection nationwide and this will be the last extension of the exercise. The collection period has further been extended by an additional two hours and will start at 9 am and end at 5 pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays.
“Those that engaged in double and multiple registrations should not bother visiting any of the commission’s Offices as the commission did not print their PVCs.
“The commission will continue to act on all reported cases of sharp practices during the ongoing PVC collection and will ensure that no Nigerian is disadvantaged and all those that carried out valid registration have an opportunity of collecting their PVCs.
“The commission once again salutes the patience and doggedness of citizens,” INEC explained.
INEC Lists 436 Polling Units for Mock Accreditation
Meanwhile, INEC on Saturday released the list of the 436 polling units across the country where it will hold a mock accreditation exercise scheduled for February 4.
The exercise is aimed at testing the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) ahead of the 2023 general election.
The 436 polling units cut across 12 polling units in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory on the equality of the country’s 109 senatorial districts for the exercise.
The list of the 436 polling units was published on the commission’s website.
Collect Your PVCs and Vote for Atiku, PDP Tells Nigerians
In a related development, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has urged Nigerians to take possession of their PVCs in readiness to vote for Atiku on February 25.
The campaign organisation in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, asked Nigerians to note that their only chance of expelling the insensitive, corrupt and vicious All Progressives Congress (APC), that has brought monumental anguish and pains to the country in the last seven and half years, is by collecting their PVCs and voting for Atiku.
Ologbondiyan said the campaign organisation “appreciates the tremendous support, contributions and solidarity by an overwhelming majority of Nigerians towards Atiku in furtherance of their consensus that he is the candidate with the desired experience, capacity, competence, integrity and national acceptability to lead Nigeria out of the abyss in which she has been sunk by the APC.”
He said: “All eligible Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, religious, sectional or even political affiliations must therefore rise to the occasion, collect their PVCs, go the polls, elect Atiku Abubakar and defend their votes as a patriotic duty to redeem and rescue our nation at this critical time.
“Atiku/Okowa campaign stands with Nigerians in charging INEC to put all measures in place to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process that will be a reflection of the Will of the people as expressed at the ballot,” PDP added.
Ologbondiyan concluded by advising the APC and its presidential candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to read the handwriting on the wall and eat the humble pie by apologising to the Nigerians, accepting their general rejection and conceding defeat ahead of the presidential election.
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuj