About sixty-seven days to the next year’s general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has come out to announce that politicians buying Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to manipulate the elections are engaging in futile efforts as they have already put in measures in place to checkmate any move.
This was made known on Sunday by the INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that a non-governmental organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had alleged that politicians are buying PVCs from poor voters to manipulate the next elections.
Okoye said the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) will reject biometric data of persons who are not original owners of the traded PVCs.
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He described the plan by some desperate politicians who are already harvesting PVCs to rig the next election as an impossibility.
‘Anybody who is purchasing a permanent voter card is just engaging in an exercise in futility. The only thing any person can do is to make sure the voter does not vote on election day but for you to come to the polling unit on election day with voter’s card belonging to someone else, and you attempt to vote with it, that is an impossibility, the BVAS will not capture your fingerprint,’ Okoye said.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest politicians buying Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from poor voters.
In a statement on Sunday which was obtained by Africa Today News, New York, SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, urged the President to ‘urgently direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to identify and arrest politicians who are allegedly buying permanent voter cards (PVCs) from poor Nigerians, and promptly bring them to justice.’
The rights group also wants Buhari to ensure that the politicians and their sponsors who are suspected to be involved in what it describes as grave electoral and human rights crimes are named and shamed, regardless of their political affiliations.