The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it would not provide about 200,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, in Lagos State ahead of Saturday’s election.
Akin Orebiyii, the state Resident Electoral Commission, disclosed this Wednesday during a Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos.
According to Mr. Orebiyii, out of the 5.8 million registered voters in Lagos, 5.6 million PVCs were available for distribution and collection.
“We want to extend our apologies to those who had challenges and difficulties in obtaining their PVCs, it is not our intention,” Mr. Orebiyii said.
Mr. Orebiyii said that INEC officials would pass Friday night at the various local government collation centres to enable early deployment of men and material to the over 8,000 polling units.
“We are very sure that this year, we are going to arrive on time. That is why we are going to sleep at the RACs (Registration Area Centres). We will leave the RACs by 5 a.m. and by 6.30 – 7 a.m., INEC officials are already waiting for voters.”
The Lagos REC said that just like in previous elections, priority would be given to the aged, disabled, and pregnant women.
“The Temporary Voter’s Cards as we speak have become obsolete. They have become a thing of the past. The smart card, similar to the PoS used in banks and supermarkets, will be used. It will recognize the PVC once it is put inside during accreditation,” said Mr. Orebiyii.
“It takes about 15 seconds, which gives us an assurance that in one minute we have effectively taken care of three people.”
During a mock accreditation process conducted by the Commission during the forum, it took a PREMIUM TIMES reporter, who was one of the volunteers, two minutes and ten seconds to get accredited.
Mr. Orebiyii also explained that final collation of results for the House of Representatives election would be done at the constituency collation centres and the Senatorial results would be at the three Senatorial Districts’ collation centres.
The collation of the results for the presidential election would be at the INEC state office before being taken to Abuja, according to the INEC REC.
Mr. Orebiyii further said that voters are allowed to stay around after casting their votes, as long as they comport themselves peacefully.
Kayode Aderanti, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, restated the INEC REC’s position, adding that police officers would be present to ensure voting is conducted peacefully.
Mr. Aderanti said that only police officers and other paramilitary agencies are constitutionally empowered to provide security at the polling units.
“OPC is not involved in this electoral process and they should not make any attempt to come out.”