Lafia, Feb. 16, 2019. (NNN) Political stakeholders in Nasarawa State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take advantage of the postponement of the elections to continue distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to eligible Nigerians.
The stakeholders made the call in Lafia on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that INEC recently extended the collection of PVCs by Nigerians to Feb. 11.
Alhaji Abubakar Sandaji, All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and businessman in the state said postponement of the polls was an opportunity for Nigerians to collect their PVCs before the rescheduled date.
He, therefore, called on INEC to mobilise its staff to mobilise and give out the PVCs.
“I am appealing to INEC to use the opportunity of the postponement to extend time for people to come out and collect their PVCs.
“I urge INEC to extend it from Monday to Wednesday so more people can get the cards to vote.
“Nigerians should react positively to the postponement by coming out in large numbers to vote on Saturday,” he said.
Sandaji, who expressed disappointment over the postponement said Nigeria should evaluate its institutions for the benefit of the populace.
“A lot of people made huge sacrifices to perform this civic duty but with what happened, that sacrifice is a waste.
“The whole country was shut down just for nothing.
“The postponement is a huge embarrassment to Nigeria. I urge Nigerians not to be discouraged but be resolute for our democracy and come out in large numbers and vote on Saturday,” he said.
Mr James Ugochukwu, Executive Director, African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) also said the postponement should not be seen in bad light.
He said it was a good opportunity for INEC to extend the timeframe for the distribution of PVCs.
“INEC should use this opportunity to continue the distribution of PVCs to Nigerians.
“We still have a week towards the election and a lot of people have not collected their PVCs. This is part of the logistic issues we are talking about,” he said.
“INEC should expedite action to ensure that those affected by the fire are given new PVCs before the election kicks off next week to enable them participate in the election,” he said.
He also called on INEC to offer unreserved apology to Nigerians, international observers and the international community over the development.
“We also called on INEC to apologise to the international observers for the sudden postponement.
“Nobody knows if they have logistics to stay for a whole week. So INEC needs to tender apology to all those affected by this decision,” he said. (NNN)
Edited by Chdi Opara/Julius Toba-Jegede