By Juliana Katung
KADUNA (Nigeria) – The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) says it has distributed 92.99 percent of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to eligible voters in the kaduna state, northwest Nigeria.
The Kaduna State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Hussaini Saidu made this known at a one day workshop on Election Reporting Organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kaduna State chapter.
Represented by Hajiya Rukayya Imam, the Commissioner said kaduna state has 3,414,250 registered voters, but that 237,149 PVCs were yet to be receive by their owners.
She added that the Commission is working hard to ensure a free, fair and credible election in the forthcoming general elections.
According to her INEC has introduced coloured ballot boxes for the 2015 general elections, saying red colour is for presidential election, black ballot box for Senate and green for the House of Representative.
Overtime, controversies have trailed INEC’s procedure in the PVC Distribution.
Allegations from some quarters suggests that duly registered voters have been delisted from the Register of Voters; and there is a deliberate plan to deny some people their PVCs.
This allegation made INEC to reassure Nigerians on its commitment to ensure all registered voters receive their cards – the delay was against the backdrop of challenges that have been experienced in the third phase of the distribution of PVCs in
some states, which the Commission has been making vigorous efforts to address.
INEC has since Friday, November 7th, 2014, been distributing PVCs to registered voters across the country – states were categorised and the distribution was carried out in phases.
The commission at that period deferred the distribution of PVCs in four states it had earlier listed for the third phase because the cards for those states were not fully delivered by printers.
It is partly for the same reason that the Commission rescheduled the distribution of PVCs in limited areas of Lagos and Nasarawa states.
The commission had on February 9, extended the PVC collection deadline date to March 8.
In a statement by INEC’s Secretary, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, said the rescheduling of the 2015 general elections from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11 made the electoral body to consider the shifting of the deadline collection date.
At that time, the electoral body said it had achieved 78 percent distribution of the PVCs across the country.
Meanwhile, some states like Kaduna state have stopped PVC distribution and have recorded over 80% success in the distribution – the exercise is however ongoing in some states which experienced challenges in the card printing,
The distribution is schedule to end on Wednesday 24 March, 2015 nationwide.