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2023: No PVC, No Voting In Elections, Says INEC 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday said there would be no voting by anybody without his or her Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC).

Speaking at a retreat for newly appointed  Resident Electoral Commission (RECs), INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed the no PVC, no voting riot act, noted that, in the last few months, INEC facilities had been set ablaze in no fewer than five local governments across the country.

“Let me seize this opportunity and comment on two issues. First, is the misleading statement shared online that voters can vote on election day without the voter’s card.

“This is absolutely incorrect. For any person to vote in any election organised by the Commission, he or she must be a registered voter issued with a PVC. The Commission has consistently maintained the policy of ‘no PVC, no voting’. Nothing has changed.

“It is a legal requirement and doing otherwise will be a violation of the law. I appeal to Nigerians to ignore any suggestion to the contrary. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that ‘a person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a Presiding Officer for accreditation at the Polling Unit in the constituency in which his name is registered.

“Therefore, the position of the law is clear. The PVC remains a mandatory requirement for voting during elections,” he said.

Addressing the attacks on INEC offices, Yakubu stated that, “I wish to once again touch on the troubling issue of attacks on our facilities and the destruction of critical electoral assets in the country.

“In the last four months, five local government area offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons. Buildings have been destroyed and materials lost in Udenu and Igboeze North Local Areas of Enugu State, Abeokuta South Local Government of Ogun State, Ede South Local Government Area of Osun State and, most recently, in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.”

According to the INEC chairman, “In these mindless attacks, a total of 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators, and thousand of uncollected PVCs were, among other materials, destroyed. These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted.”

While reassuring Nigerians that INEC would recover from the attacks, he said the lost materials would be replaced but that there was a limit to its ability to keep replacing wantonly destroyed materials with just 86 days to the general election.

Yakubu, however, appealed to security agencies, traditional and community leaders, and all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support the commission to stop the attacks, adding that,  the ultimate solution was to arrest and prosecute the vandals so they would not feel that their bad behaviour was an acceptable conduct in the country.

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