The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is overwhelmed by the current rush by eligible voters to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), a few weeks to the election.
Ndidi Okafor, Head, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society at the INEC office in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Mrs Okafor appealed to prospective voters who were yet to collect their PVCs in the FCT to be patient with the commission as it is doing everything possible to distribute them before the deadline.
NAN reports that INEC had set February 8, as the deadline for eligible voters to collect their PVCs.
“We have been distributing PVCs in the six area councils and in all the 62 wards of the FCT for the past 20 months.
“We had earlier appealed to residents to come and collect theirs to discourage the 11th hour rush syndrome, but they did not come, now they are putting pressure on everybody.
“One of our staff was injured and most of them cannot even take a break to eat due to the pressure from the people, so we are working on seeking assistance of the police in all the collection centres to maintain order.
“The February 8, deadline is sacrosanct and there won’t be an extension, that is why we have extended the collection time from between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to between 9.am. and 4 p.m. daily,’’ she said.
Mrs Okafor appealed to residents to be orderly on the queues so they can collect their cards on time.
She said the commission would distribute PVCs on Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20 to enable workers collect theirs.
She said that complaints of those whose names were omitted had been noted and had been sent to the headquarters for redress.
She said their PVCs would be produced for collection before the deadline.
Mrs Okafor said the commission has two ‘PVC hotlines’- 08153162663 and 08188241666 ”that people can call for complain or enquiry”.