by Kolapo Olapoju
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has refuted a report by Reuters, which insinuated that Nigeria may delay the general elections if permanent voters card distribution is too low.
Reuters had quoted the National Commissioner of INEC, Amina Zakari, as making a statement about the potential postponement of the polls.
A statement addressed to Reuters by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, stated that commissioner spoke about the February 8 deadline for collection of permanent voters card, but said nothing about the schedule of the general elections.
Idowu said:”You said she spoke to you ‘on the sidelines’ of the event. Well, I have checked with the Commissioner and she denied that the issue discussed was the schedule of the 2015 elections. You had during the question-and-answer session at the event asked about the notably low level of collection in some states and the implication for voter turnout, which the Commission had missed out in her responses.”
“Later ‘on the sidelines’ she explained to you that the number of PVCs already collected rates highly in comparison to the level of voter turn historically in Nigerian elections. Still, she added, INEC has not completely foreclosed the possibility of granting a few days of extension in isolated cases of low percentage of collection after February 8.”
“The inference you’ve made for the schedule of elections is entirely yours, and misrepresents the conversation that took place at the event this morning. You will do well to correct the report urgently, please,” the statement added.