The Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta State has said that the Permanent Voter Cards that have yet to be collected by their owners will be taken to the electoral wards and will be available for picking up, starting from January 16.
A total of 465,317 PVCs have yet to be collected in Delta, the Acting Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, Mr. F.A. Enabor, said on Thursday.
Enabor revealed this when the 49 political parties participating in the forthcoming general elections in the state signed a peace pact at the Commission’s headquarters in Asaba.
He said that the uncollected PVCs would be taken to the different electoral wards on January 16 to enable the owners to collect them, adding that the collection period would last for 10 days.
The administrative secretary urged the parties to help inform their members and supporters the measure taken by the Commission to enable those concerned have their PVCs.
Enabor, who said 2,823,161 voters were registered in the state, assured the electorate that INEC would conduct free, fair and credible elections in the state.
“We, as a Commission, hereby assure all contestants of our neutrality and we promise that you all will enjoy a level playing field before, during and after the elections.
“Our goal is to deliver free, fair, credible and conclusive elections. However, the enabling environment must be given to the commission to do its work properly and serve you well,” he said.
The new Delta Commissioner of Police, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, warned the political parties, their candidates and supporters against violence and election malpractices during the polls.
Ogbizi said that any violator of the Electoral Act, no matter how highly placed, would be arrested and prosecuted.
He, however, assured the electorate that the command would ensure peace and order all over the state including the riverine areas, before, during and after the election.
He reminded the politician that election was not a do-or-die affair and urged them to play by the rules to avoid prosecution as only one winner would emerge in every election.
“Once you play by the rule, you make our job easy and the election will be free and fair. But once problems occur which in most cases are caused by politicians, the exercise will not go on well.
“I crave your indulgence not to engage thugs or threaten violence. Police will advise INEC on what to do should there be any disruption,” he said.
Ogbizi solicited the cooperation of Delta residents especially the politicians to enable the law enforcement agencies carry out their duties effectively during the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all the security agencies and other relevant organisations in the state, including the Army, Navy, State Security Service, NCSC, FRSC, were in attendance.
The Deputy Governor of Delta, Kingsley Otuaro, represented Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP at the occasion.
Also in attendance were the governorship candidates, Chairmen and representatives of other political parties including the PDP, APC, Labour Party and Accord Party that signed the pact.