PVC Collection: CSOs Push For Further Extension, Make Case For Students
Sequel to the initial extension of the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), further calls have been made to the commission to again extend the deadline.
Naija News reports that in the same vein, a coalition of Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) have called on INEC to extend the deadline.
According to them, refusal to do so would be a perceived disenfranchisement of citizens, especially students, in the forthcoming general elections.
The coalition of 10 CSOs on Friday in a joint statement also requested a better timetable from the commission to help students participate in the election.
The CSOs include Enough is enough, Yiaga Africa, Dataphyte, Reclaim Naija, and others.
The group submitted that “According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards will end this Sunday, January 29th at 5 pm.
“However, reports from voters in different collection centres across the country revealed that some validly registered voters were informed by the INEC officials that their PVCs were not available; while some others were asked to return on a later day beyond the deadline or after the election to collect their PVCs.
“We also note the concern of the students who registered at home while tertiary institutions were shut down for over eight months.
“According to INEC, 40% of the 9,518,188 newly registered voters are students. If they registered at home and are now at school, INEC must ensure they can pick up their cards in the least expensive way possible.”
The CSOs then asked INEC to “inform Nigerians if it is still printing cards and when all the cards for registered voters will be available for collection;
“Extend PVC collection to ensure that everyone whose cards were not found is reprinted, and there is a clear process for them to pick up the cards;
“Work with the Nigerian Universities Commission to ensure that there are no classes or exams the week before elections so students can go home to vote;
“Communicate with newly registered voters, especially students, when the PVCs are ready; and create a dedicated desk for civil society organisations, media, and citizens to escalate the issues being observed for a quick resolution.
“The engine to drive this process is clear and proactive information sharing from INEC. There are high expectations for this election and INEC can not be seen to be deliberately or inadvertently disenfranchising certain groups of people.”