The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 60 other political parties yesterday rejected the election guidelines released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Accordingly, the parties threatened to pass a vote of no confidence on the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, if he went ahead to release what they called contentious guidelines on Monday without further consultation with chairmen of political parties.
A statement by the publicity secretary of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and national chairman of the Action Peoples Party (APP), Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, to this effect noted that the parties disagreed with INEC over “eight obnoxious clauses inserted into the election guidelines that will ruin the 2019 elections.”
The political parties further demanded the retention of 2011 and 2015 procedure of having separate accreditation time and separate voting time, saying it would “help forestall rigging with the presence of voters at the polling unit instead of INEC’s 2019 simultaneous accreditation and voting.”
They also demanded the announcement of accreditation figures by 12noon on election day and for it to be recorded in a signed form and given to party agents before voting starts to forestall doctoring of election figures during collation.
The statement made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend noted: “Political parties demand stoppage of PVC collection 10 days to election and disclosure of the total number of PVC collected on polling unit basis to political parties. Political parties reject the clauses in the guideline which allows unduly accredited voters to vote especially the clause that allows voters with PVC whose name is not in the register of voters to vote.
“Political parties demands transparency in collation and transmission of results with accredited representatives of Election observers and political parties monitoring. Political parties rejects the creation or usage of secret polling units called voting point settlement and demand full list and location of such units.
“Political parties demand INEC meets with party chairmen before final release of the Election guidelines. Political Parties demands the redeployment of Amina Zakari as head of collation centre and replacement with Federal Commissioner incharge of Operation, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu to ensure credibility and balancing.
“Political Parties rejects the use of former Youth corpers and staff of federal govt agencies as Adhoc Staff. The signed resolution and petition to the INEC chairman and his Federal commissioners by the 61 Political Parties (majority of Nigeria 91 Political parties) has just been submitted to INEC leadership at the Hqrs few Minutes ago after emergency meeting of the Country’s party leaders. How INEC reacts will determine the fate of the 2019 elections which seems to be heading to a major crisis”.
Commission Sets February 8 For Collection Of PVC
Meanwhile, INEC said yesterday that the collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) would end on February 8, 2019.
According to the commission, a total of 14,283,734 new voters were registered in the CVR exercise conducted between April 27, 2017 and August 31, 2018.
A statement issued by INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, urging those who are yet to collect their cards to do so also noted that the commission printed the PVCs of the new registrants and delivered them to the states said.
Okoye stated: “Following appeals by members of the public and its desire to make it easier for Nigerians to collect their PVCs, the commission held its regular weekly meeting on Thursday 10th January 2019 and took the following decisions among others:
“Collection of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) by members of the public which is being done presently at the commission’s Local Government Offices’ is to be devolved to the 8,809 Registration Areas/ Wards from 16th to 21 January 2019 including Saturday and Sunday.
“After 21st January 2019, collection of PVC will revert to the Commission’s Local Government Offices and other designated centres to be determined by the states until 8th February 2019, being the last day for collection”.
INEC further warned that there will be no extension for the collection of PVCs after the 8th day of February 2019.
“All uncollected PVCs will be retrieved and kept in a secured place till the general elections are over,” it said, insisting also that there will be no collection of PVC by proxy.
“The commission in the spirit of transparency will give account of the number of PVC collected and the balance from previous registrations. The commission urges all registered voters who are yet to collect their PVC to do so,” the statement added.