As preparations for the 2015 general elections gather momentum, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has stepped up its sensitization campaign, as it gets set to commence the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card, PVC, in 4,442 polling units in Rivers State. The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, lead a team of INEC principal officers to the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in Port Harcourt to brief the NDDC management on its activities and seek support for its voter education efforts.
Elder Ikoiwak said the essence of the visit was to solicit the support and participation of Corporate bodies in the distribution of voter cards in the state. He urged eligible voters to come out en masse to collect their cards from their polling units across the state, starting from Friday, November 7 to 9. The INEC commissioner said a continuous voter registration exercise has been scheduled for the 319 registration wards in the state from November 13 to 17.
The exercise he emphasized was strictly for only those who turned 18 years after the 2011 and those whose names were not on the Electronic Register and were not issued PVCs after the distribution exercise of that same year.
He warned that, no person would be allowed to collect the permanent voters’ card by proxy and advised all eligible voters to go to their polling units during the exercise and make sure that they collected their voters’ cards, because without it, one would not be allowed to vote.
Responding, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia commended INEC for reviewing its activities and coming up with new systems that would promote the growth of democracy in the country. According to the NDCC Chief, “With the new system being introduced by INEC, the days of ‘carry go’ is gone for good. Transformation is not just for the President or the Federal Government, it is for all of us to improve on our systems and services,” he said.
The NDDC boss stressed the need for INEC to continue to provide a level playing field for all contestants in other to command the confidence of the Nigerian public and the international community, adding that the electoral system should be fair to all, irrespective of political affiliations.
Bassey Dan-Abia urged all Nigerians to shun violence, noting that the country was blessed to have a president who abhors malpractices in the electoral process. He reminded politicians that President Goodluck Jonathan had repeatedly said that nobody's political ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian.