According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), politicians in Nigeria are purchasing Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) from citizens who have already registered to vote in order to obtain their Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) in advance of the general elections in 2023.
While cautioning politicians as well as uninformed and dishonest Nigerians about the questionable behaviour, INEC reaffirmed that nobody will cast a ballot on election days without a PVC.
Mohammed Haruna, the National Commissioner in charge of the FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna, and Plateau states, announced this on Monday in Abuja at a gathering to launch the #YourVoteMatters movement.
Convicted for illegal possession of PVCS
Haruna further disclosed that two individuals were recently found guilty of illegally possessing PVCs in the states of Kano and Sokoto.
The INEC National Commissioner remarked in a statement said: “We are aware some politicians are more or less buying the PVCs. If you collect the PVC and then you sell it out or allow someone else to have it, you are aiding illegal possession of the PVC which is an offence in our Electoral Act.
Some of you are aware that only recently, INEC managed to convict two people, who were found guilty of illegal possession of PVCs in Kano and Sokoto. So, I urge people to connect their PVCs, keep it safe, and make sure that on Election Day, you go out there and cast your votes because, of course, without your PVC you cannot vote.”
In contrast, Ambassador Eniola Cole, Executive Director of NESSACTION, made it clear in her remarks that the project, which is slated to be implemented in the FCT, Nasarawa, and Plateau states, will provide logistics that will produce incentives in communities with poor PVC collection rates.
Cole said: “We implore the general public to take advantage of the timeframe set by INEC for PVC collection at the Commission’s LGA offices nationwide from December 12, 2022 to January 5, 2023, and at the 8809 Registration Areas from January 6-22, 2023 including Saturdays and Sundays.
The public can, through dedicated channels, inform us of their location to receive support including the PVC collection buses and community outreach activities to be conducted at the local level in each state by our community mobilisation officers.”
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