The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has recommended steps to take in addressing the issue of politicians allegedly plotting to buy Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) in the general elections.
He advised the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to immediately call a meeting of stakeholders in the coming polls.
Senator Saraki gave the advice on Thursday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
The meeting, he noted, should be convened with the sole aim of formulating plans and ideas on how to render useless the intention of the purported politicians with intention of buying PVCs.
“We have continued to maintain that manipulation of election results does not start and end on Election Day,” the Senate President was quoted as saying in the statement.
“It starts long before the day and goes on even after the declaration of results.”
He added, “That is why we have to continually be vigilant and once we identify any threat to 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.”
Saraki who condemned the plot to purchase PVCs as alleged urged the INEC boss not to stop at raising the alarm.
He, however, asked Professor Yakubu to immediately devise a water-tight arrangement to make futile the efforts of such unscrupulous politicians.
The lawmakers decried that the development constitutes a major threat to the successful conduct of the 2019 Polls, as it can become the single factor to decide where victory swings in the election.
“All stakeholders must come up fast with a solution to render useless the antics of those who intend to procure voter’s cards,” he maintained.
“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.”
Senator Saraki said 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.