INEC to Combat Illegal concealing of PVCs
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it is acting in response to reports and viral videos alleging that various sites, including the home of a famous individual, have Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) concealed underground.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, noted this in a statement on Thursday.
He said “The Commission is not taking these allegations lightly. We have commenced an immediate investigation and anyone found culpable in this diabolical scheme clearly intended to disenfranchise Nigerians will be sanctioned under the law.”
“Every eligible Nigerian who registered as a voter is entitled to his/her PVC. The constitutional right to vote in any election must never be suppressed or abridged in any way.”
The commissioner solicited to those who found the allegedly buried PVCs to deliver them to the commission’s nearest State or Local Government office.
“This will be their patriotic contribution to the consolidation of our electoral process,” Mr Okoye said.
He warned that the commission would combat efforts to thwart the distribution of PVCs to eligible voters.
“As far as the record of the Commission is concerned, PVCs have been printed for all valid registrants in Nigeria up to 14th January 2022 and delivered to all the States of the Federation for collection by voters. We will not allow retrogressive elements to sabotage our efforts,” he said.
He reassured Nigerians that the issue will be investigated thoroughly and that “the issues of voter registration, a compilation of the voters’ roll and issuance of PVCs are at the heart of any democratic elections and the Commission is working hard to ensure that every eligible citizen who appears in person at the registration venue is registered”.
In light of the reports, Okoye claimed that the commission had already begun evaluating the PVC collection process in order to make it less onerous and more transparent.
“This will be a major topic at the next regular quarterly meeting with stakeholders so that working together we can find a lasting solution to the issue,” he said.