Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, has made a promise that INEC will ensure that every eligible Nigerian would be provided with a Permanent Voters’ Card, PVC, before the general elections next month.
Jega made this promise while responding to a request by President Jonathan to ensure that every Nigerian, eligible and registered to vote was provided with a PVC before the elections.
The president spoke while swearing in a new National INEC Commissioner representing Oyo State, Prof. Akinola Murtala Salau.
The President said the level of interest shown by Nigerians from all walks of life in getting their PVC was an indication that confidence was being restored in the electoral process and that no Nigerian must be disenfranchised for failure to a PVC.
He said: “Nigerians are getting worried over whether INEC can actually conduct free and fair elections because of the (scarcity of the) PVC. Talking about the PVC, even some governors are complaining that they are yet to obtain their own. If governors are yet to get their voters cards, of course that means that so many Nigerians are yet to get theirs and people are a bit worried.
“But to me I am quite pleased, not pleased in the negative sense, but because of the awareness that has come; that Nigerians want to have their voters cards.
“Before 2011, no Nigerian complained about voters card and that is why when some politicians talk, I just laugh. Nobody cared.
“Some people came on board and sanitised the electoral process but others want to take the glory. We have to commend ourselves, that today ordinary Nigerians, businessmen, religious leaders are complaining. Nobody talked about that before 2011. So, people should commend us and I am pleased that people are talking about voters cards.
“The chairman of INEC luckily is here. All Nigerians must get their voters cards. We cannot conduct an election where some people will not have the right to vote. People must decide who rules them at all levels not just about presidential elections, at the lowest level of elections conducted by INEC.
“All Nigerians must vote and INEC must do everything possible to make sure that all Nigerians have their voters card because we cannot have a situation where some Nigerians will not vote that day.”