From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hinged delay in the distribution of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) to new registrants and transfer applicants on the robust system of cleaning up the register to ensure only genuine registrants are added to the voters’ register using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) for fingerprint and facial clean up.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who made the disclosure, also confirmed that the commission has found a permanent solution to the malfunctioning Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) ahead of the 2023 general election.
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He, however, announced that having completed the process, the commission will fix the dates and venues, after the commission’s meeting next week, on how the distribution of the PVCs wouldbe done.
“The commission is encouraged by the response of citizens to the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise. Millions of Nigerians have registered so far.
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“The commission is aware that new registrants as well as those who applied for transfer or replacement of their PVCs would like to know when the cards will be available for collection. The reason we have not made the PVCs available is because of the robust system of cleaning up the registration to ensure only genuine registrants are added to the voters’ register using the ABIS for fingerprint and facial clean up.
“I am glad to report that the commission has completed the ABIS for the first and second quarter of the CVR. The commission is meeting next week and the detailed dates and locations for the collection of PVCs will be announced.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a retreat for national commissioners in Lagos, Yakubu charged participants to bear in mind that conduct of successful elections is the credibility of election managers, adding: “Our impartiality, dogged adherence to rules, commitment to the sanctity of the ballot and sound knowledge of the electoral process.
“We all, therefore, stand to learn a lot from this retreat, particularly with the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022. The commission has also introduced a number of new innovations that we need to perfect ahead of the general election. Above all, we need to continuously engage with citizens and stakeholders.”