The All Progressives Congress and the Nigerian Bar Association have suggested that rather than postpone elections because of the inability of the majority of Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards, the Federal Government should consider declaring a public holiday so that all Nigerians will have enough time to get their cards.
The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), had, last week, suggested the postponement of this year’s elections by three months to enable the Independent National Election Commission distribute the PVCs, to about 30 million Nigerians who had yet to obtain the cards.
However, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said during a press conference in Lagos on Monday that the February 14 presidential election and the February 28 governorship elections were sacrosanct.
He maintained that the suggestion of the NSA was motivated by the Peoples Democratic Party because the party was scared of losing.
He, however, suggested that the Federal Government should declare a three-day public holiday and also decentralise the distribution of the PVCs further by making it available at polling units.
He said, “If indeed the Jonathan administration is genuinely concerned that many Nigerians have not received their PVCs, let it declare a three-day public holiday to give working Nigerians the opportunity to collect their PVCs. Let the government work with INEC to ensure that the PVCs are distributed at the polling units. If these steps are followed, within five days, the distribution would have been completed.”
Meanwhile, the NBA has also urged the Federal Government not to postpone the elections.
The NBA in a statement by its National President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN), said, “Positive steps could be taken by INEC to ensure the collection of PVCs by voters. The present practice of the collection of PVCs should be replaced with collection of PVCs at the location where the polling units would be on the election day.
“INEC should request the government to declare work-free days to enable voters collect their voter cards. There are several other steps that can be taken by INEC to ease the process of collection of PVCs. The postponement of the elections is not the reasonable solution to resolve the difficulties associated with collection of PVCs.”