The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to urgently call for a meeting of stakeholders to formulate plans to eradicated the buying of Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said the development of buying PVC as revealed by Yakubu a few days ago constitutes a major threat to the successful conduct of the 2019 polls, noting that it can become the single factor to decide where victory swings in the elections.
Part of the statement reads:
“We have continued to maintain that manipulation of election results does not start and end on the election day.
“It starts long before the day and goes on even after the declaration of results.
“That is why we have to continually be vigilant and once we identify any threat to the free, fair and transparent conduct of a credible election like the INEC Chairman has done, all stakeholders must put heads together to block the loopholes.
“All stakeholders must come up fast with a solution to render useless the antics of those who intend to procure voter’s cards.
“We all need to put our heads together and I am sure that such a stakeholders’ meeting will not only nip in the bud the looming danger, it will also engender general confidence in the system and create a system in which all stakeholders become problem solvers.”
Saraki added that in the next six weeks preceding the first set of elections and immediately after the elections, it was important for INEC to devise an arrangement in which it would constantly consult with stakeholders to identify issues affecting the process and how to find joint solutions to them.