CHAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, Saturday, said campaign and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) had been concluded and would remain closed till the next Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
Yakubu, during a media briefing on the election postponement, explained that irrespective of the rescheduling of the polls, the electoral umpire would not discard the time table prepared for the 2019 general elections.
“All other processes provided for in the main time table and schedule of activities will remain enforced including the collection of PVCs.
“Remember, we are going to give you a complete break-down of the number of PVCs, mop-up warehouse uncollected PVCs in the CBN until after the elections, when collection of the cards will resume, as well as registration of new voters.” he said.
The Chairman, who apologised to Nigerians for the postponement, assured the election would hold on 23rd February as promised.
“On behalf of myself as chairman and on behalf of my commissioners, we regret what happened early this morning,” Yakubu said.
He assured that the electoral materials earlier released from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would be returned to the bank while an audit would be carried out on the entire materials.
Responding to questions from the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole, on why the announcement of election cancellation was made few hours to the poll, the INEC chairman explained that “until close to 2 am in the morning, we were still confident elections will hold. For three days since Wednesday, many of the commissioners including myself have virtually been sleeping at the airport.
“We mobilized all national assets to ensure sure we deliver what remains of electoral logistics to locations to conduct the elections but unfortunately we could not conduct the elections the way elections should be conducted. Therefore, we made the decision of making the statement we did.
“We were there at the airport with all people that can provide all necessary supports you can imagine, including contacts with private cargo air planes that can help deliver electoral logistics to locations but as I said, after 2015 general election, this nation needs a conversation on election management, we will come back to it, big time.”