From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to deny accreditation to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that failed to submit reports of the previous elections they monitored as election observers.

Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, issued the threat at the second quarterly consultative meeting with the CSOs in Abuja, yesterday.

He, however, sought the support of the CSOs to mobilise new registrants and encourage voters to locate and pick up their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as they did previously.

“As we inch closer to the Election Day in Edo State, it is also imperative to remind the CSOs about the need to submit their applications for election observation in earnest along with the required supporting documents and a realistic number of individual observers.

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“Doing so will enable the commission to produce and deliver identity cards for the observers in good time. The commission will not entertain requests outside the deadline for the receipt of applications from interested observer groups or process applications that do not meet the criteria.

“For emphasis, submission of reports from previous accreditation in the manner required by the commission is mandatory for continuous participation in election observation. Since our last meeting two months ago, many accredited observers have submitted their reports, but a few are yet to do so. We urge you to do the needful. Your reports are important for us in reviewing and improving our processes and procedures.”

Appealing to them to monitor the distribution of PVCs and the CVR exercise, the electoral umpire, Yakubu said: “The commission, therefore, appeals to the CSOs to join us in mobilising prospective registrants for the exercise, particularly on the need to register early, and not wait until the deadline approaches when the registration centres will be inundated by eleventh hour registrants.

“In addition to the registration of voters, the commission will also make available the uncollected PVCs for collection during the CVR. In the coming days, the list of uncollected PVCs will be published in our offices in the two states, and simultaneously uploaded to our website.

“We believe doing so will make it easier for voters to collect their PVCs. However, no PVCs will be collected by proxy. Registered voters should come in person to collect their cards. Again, we seek the support of CSOs in encouraging voters to locate and pick up their PVCs as was done in the past,” he appealed.