Jega: No comment on NSA’s elections shift request

Says 4.1m additional PVCs delivered

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega yesterday said it would be premature to comment on the call for the postponement of the February polls by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. He said until he gets clarifications on the call for the shift of polls by the NSA, “I cannot comment on this,” since many things are being attributed to even himself when he did not say them.

Colonel Dasuki had while delivering a lecture in London this week, called for the electoral empire to consider pushing forward the general elections owing to the myriads of challenges associated with the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in most states of the country. However, INEC chairman, at the launch of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) Mitigation of Violence in Election (MOVE) project yesterday in Abuja, said the commission has not yet taken decision on the call.

On the challenges posed by the PVCs distribution, he said millions of cards are at the INEC offices but haven’t been collected. He said additional cards are being collected daily by the commission, reassuring that before the end of January, all the yet-to-be produced PVCs would be received by INEC. “So far, as I speak with you, we have made available for collection over 50 million of those cards out of about 68 million cards that are to be produced. Over 30 million have been collected. But there are still millions that are out there for people to collect.”

Jega also assured that INEC has remained committed to implementing its released 2015 elections timeline. “We know there is a lot of anxiety now, because the rate of the collection is low, but if push comes to shove, we can distribute up to the eve of the election. We can distribute up the 13th of February. But we would cross the bridge when we get to it,” he stressed.