Alleged Burying Of Uncollected PVCs: We’ll Sanction Anyone Culpable, INEC Reacts
INEC PVCs

Alleged Burying Of Uncollected PVCs: We’ll Sanction Anyone Culpable, INEC Reacts

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the report of alleged discovery of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in unusual locations.
Some videos have been trending online since Thursday about the discovery of large number of uncollected PVCs in a drainage system. Some videos which emerged on Twitter also showed some PVCs kept in some unidentified offices and the house of a high-profile person.
However, it could not be confirmed which part of the country the PVCs were found.

Some Nigerians, who reacted to the incident on social media, accused INEC of being behind it in order to disenfranchise Nigerians during the 2023 general elections. Others said the cards could have been dumped by hoodlums who attacked INEC offices in different parts of the country and carted away electoral materials including PVCs.
The INEC national commissioner and chairman, voter education, Festus Okoye, in a statement issued hours after the video emerged online on Thursday, said the commission has commenced investigation into the alleged incident and anyone found culpable of the act would be adequately sanctioned in line with the law.

Okoye described it as an evil act capable of disenfranchising Nigerians, adding that every eligible citizen who registered as a voter is entitled to his/her PVC.

He stated that INEC has printed PVCs for all valid registrants in Nigeria up to 14th January 2022 and delivered to all the States of the Federation for collection by voters, adding that the commission would not allow “retrogressive elements” to sabotage their efforts.

He further stated that the electoral body is already reviewing the PVC collection procedure to make it easier and more transparent.

The statement reads, “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to videos trending online of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) allegedly buried underground in some locations, including the compound of a high-profile person.

“The Commission is not taking these allegations lightly. We have commenced 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.

“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.

“The issues of voter registration, 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. We assure Nigerians that this matter will be pursued to its logical conclusion.

“Already, the Commission is reviewing the procedure for collecting PVCs to make it less cumbersome 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.

“Meanwhile, we appeal to those who found the allegedly buried PVCs to deliver them to our nearest State or Local Government office. This will be their patriotic contribution to the consolidation of our electoral process.

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Caleb Ifeanyi Onah, PBA Journalism Mentee
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