The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega today yielded to the summon of the Senate to explain what led to the postponement of the Feb 14 general elections. The INEC Boss made a shocking disclosure that about one million permanent voter cards (PVCs) are yet to be produced.
He noted that while not all PVCs were available, 75.94 percent of those that are have been distributed to owners across the country, assuring too that before the new date of March 28, the PVCs would be ready and made available to their owners by the Commission.
“As I speak to you, 800, 000 to 1 million cards are yet to be produced. The collection rate has averaged 75.94 percent,” he said.
“The use of card readers is one of the innovations introduced by INEC to improve the election process,” he said. “The card readers are not used for voting. They are used to improve the integrity of the election process, and it is for accreditation.
“Using the card readers has enormous advantages. It can only read INEC cards, it authenticates the identity of registered voters, and the information is sent to the central server for analysis.”
Speaking about rumours that some politicians have bought PVCs in some parts of Nigeria like in Ebonyi state where about 300 PVCs were stolen,Jega said that stealing PVCs is an exercise in futility as the cards would be useless during elections.He said those who have stolen cards are only disenfranchising people as only those with credible PVC's would be accredited during the elections.
Answering questions on whether the card reader can be cloned, The INEC Boss said the card readers can be cloned but that they cannot be cloned successfully to be used with the INEC PVCs. He said only accreditation detail information would be sent to the INEC server. He however lauded the introduction of card readers to this year’s polls, noting that it would help the Commission organize a credible and free and fair elections.