The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has commenced investigation into videos trending online of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) allegedly buried underground in some locations, including the compound of a high-profile person.
The commission disclosed this in a statement by its spokesman Festus Okoye on Thursday.
Mr Okoye, who said the attention of the commission was drawn to the video, confirmed that INEC was not taking the 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,” said the INEC official. “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.”
He added, “As far as the record of the commission is concerned, PVCs have been printed for all valid registrants in Nigeria up to January 14, 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 INEC commissioner further stated that the issues of voter registration, compilation of the voters’ roll and issuance of PVCs were at the heart of any democratic elections.
Mr Okoye also mentioned that INEC was working hard to ensure that eligible voters who appeared in person at the registration venue were registered.
He assured Nigerians that the matter would be pursued to its logical conclusion.
“Already, the commission is reviewing the procedure for collecting PVCs to make it less cumbersome and more transparent,” he stressed. “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, however, said INEC appealed to those who found the allegedly buried PVCs to deliver them to INEC’s nearest state or local government office. This, according to him, will be their patriotic contribution to the consolidation of Nigeria’s electoral process.