Reps urge INEC to release undistributed PVCs

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), not distributed before the 2015 general elections.

The house, at plenary in Abuja, also urged the commission to embark on continuous registration of voters and contained in its programme.

Adopting the motion introduced by Rep. Shadimu Alao, the lower chamber said that the Electoral Act 2010 empowered INEC to make voter cards available to registered voters ahead of voting day.

Leading the debate, Alao expressed concern over the manner the commission handled the distribution of voter cards during the general elections in 2015.

According to him, during the elections, the manner INEC carried out the distribution of the cards disenfranchised many Nigerians nationwide.

“While some states got a large percentage of voter cards, others like Lagos with its high number of voters got far less voter cards, culminating in mass disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

“The uneven distribution of voter cards may, in some cases, produce unpopular candidates resulting in triumph of the minority over the majority, which is antithetical to all known democratic tenets,” Alao added.

He called on the lawmakers to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure that funds were provided to INEC to cope with its enormous responsibilities.

In his remarks, Speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committees on Electoral and Political Party Matters and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the resolution.

The house also passed for second reading, a bill for an Act to establish the Electoral Offences Tribunal for the purpose of trying electoral offences.

It also passed for second reading a bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Electoral Offences Commission, to be with the responsibility of prohibition and prosecution of electoral offences and other related matters.