The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River, Mr Mike Igini, has reassured that the new Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) will ensure transparency during elections in the country.
Igini made this known at a Stakeholders’ Forum on Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the PVC distribution in Cross River in Calabar on Thursday.
According to him, the PVC will empower the electorate to choose their leaders in future elections.
He said the new PVC would not only eliminate what he called numerous cases of multiple registrations as experienced in the past but eliminate voting by proxy.
The commissioner said that only the PVC owners could put them into use during elections in Nigeria.
He said the distribution of PVC which would begin on Aug. 15 to Aug. 17 in Cross River would be followed by the CVR from Aug. 20 to Aug. 25.
Igini said the introduction of the PVC would return power to the people; the commission was gradually distributing the card to the electorate in phases in the six geo-political zones.
“The idea of the PVC is to return power to the people; you saw what happened in Ekiti when we started the process.
So, it is imperative for those who registered in 2011 to ensure that they get their PVC.
“On Aug. 9, it will be the turn of Osun to see its workability. We are taking the processes step by step,’’ he said.
He said the three-day PVC’s distribution would begin at 8 a.m. daily and would feature the display of Electronic Voter’s Register at all the polling units across the state.
“All voters are enjoined to come with their Temporary Voters’ Card to the polling units where they had earlier registered in 2011 and exchange them for the permanent ones,’’ he said.
According to him, only the permanent voter card will be used during the 2015 general elections.
“However, voters whose names are not on the displayed electronic voter register and not issued with PVC are eligible for fresh registration.’’
Responding, Gov. Liyel Imoke, represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Mr Fred Osim, said that government would work with relevant stakeholders for a successful exercise.
Imoke said as a foundation-laying exercise, government had directed relevant agencies to be on alert and to enlighten the people on the need to participate fully.
“We believe that it is the people who have the ultimate powers to elect their leaders. To that extent, we have directed all agencies to mobilise the people.
“It is important for all stakeholders to mobilise our people for an important exercise that will entrench one-man-one-vote in our electoral process.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Kola Sodipo, said the command would maintain law and order before, during and after the exercise.