The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has commenced immediate 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 Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, in Abuja yesterday.
Okoye, who said that the attention of the commission has been drawn to the video, confirmed that INEC was not taking those 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 Jan. 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,” OKoye warned.
The national commissioner said that the issues of voter registration, compilation of the voters’ roll and issuance of PVCs were at the heart of any democratic elections.
Okoye said that the commission was working hard to ensure that every eligible citizen who appears in person at the registration venue was 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.
“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 that INEC appealed to those who found the allegedly buried PVCs to deliver them to INEC nearest state or local government office.
This, according to him, will be their patriotic contribution to the consolidation of Nigeria’s electoral process.