Return PVC registration, distribution to polling units, extend closing date, ADP tells INEC
LAGOS State chapter Action Democratic Party (ADP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review its process of registration and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
This was just as the party also called on the commission to extend the closing date of registration and collection of PVCs, stating that the August 17 deadline would prevent millions of potential voters from registering their names to enable them to participate in 2019 General Elections.
The party made the call on Tuesday in a statement issued by its publicity secretary, Prince Adelaja Adeoye.
The party specifically decried the slow pace of registration, distribution and time wasting process of issuing PVCs to Lagosians, appealing to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to review the process for effectiveness to the benefit of all Nigerians.
ADP said INEC should revert back to the former system, where registration and collection were done at the various polling units and if need be engaged more hands to make the process easier and faster for the electorate.
The party also said that the registration officers needed to be monitored as some of them were in the habit of making the process of card issuance cumbersome for the electorate.
According to ADP, the field reports at its disposal concerning the ongoing PVC sensitization drive across the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos reveal that more efforts should be added by INEC to make the process successful.
It counselled that if the commission wanted the good people of Lagos State to participate adequately in the electioneering process of registering, selecting, voting and protecting their votes in the coming 2019 elections, the PVC awareness, voters education and sensitization programme must be doubled.
According to ADP, from the field reports, many registered voters cannot locate their PVCs while hundreds of thousands of them, who made efforts to register, are frustrated by shortage of biometric capture machines, epileptic network, distance of registration centers to their home or place of work, few registration points, longer queue and attitude of some of the INEC officials amongst other militating issues.
ADP urged INEC to set up call centres where owners of the over 1.4 million uncollected cards in the state in their possession can be easily distributed.
It also counselled that INEC could send bulk SMS to the owners since they already had their contact details in their database.
The party said this would enable PVC owners whose address can be verified to take delivery of their cards via postal service.
According to the party, these are few out of many strategies the commission can adopt to make the distribution of uncollected PVCs easier, faster and also to absolve commission of allegations that the uncollected cards were being kept deliberately to rig elections.
The party said INEC should not make the process look like it was a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise Lagosians from obtaining their PVC as the same body issued the cards seamlessly in 2010 to Nigerians.
ADP however called on the INEC to extend the closing date of registration and collection of PVCs, stating that the August 17 closure will shut the door at millions of potential voters, that many Nigerians who genuinely desire to register are frustrated each time they want to register by the cumbersome process of registration and distribution currently adopted by INEC.