The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has alleged that politicians are making desperate efforts to buy Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, from officials of the commission ahead of the 2019 general elections.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC in Oyo State, Mutiu Agboke, made the disclosure on Thursday in Ibadan, Oyo State, during a one-day seminar organised by the state chapter of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, ONPAN.
Mr Agboke, who declined to give details of the politicians involved, said he got to know through a security report.
The REC, however, assured that no politician can get PVCs to buy from INEC.
“Politicians are looking for PVCs to buy. That is the security report we get. They are looking for what is not available.
“They have seen that this election will likely be neck-to-neck. We will allow a process that will not allow anyone to use violence to the disadvantage of another candidate.
“For those looking for PVCs to buy, there is none. No INEC staff will sell PVCs to anybody. We are monitoring all of them and they all know,” he assured.
Mr Agboke also alleged that some politicians have requested for the uncollected cards, promising to distribute to owners who they claim are their supporters.
He, however, said the commission will never release PVCs to anyone that is not the real owner.
He said INEC rule does not allow collection by proxy.
The REC said voter education and sensitisation being carried out by the umpire have raised the awareness of voters, stressing that politicians have realised that INEC would provide a level-playing ground for every party and candidate.
He said the situation has further made them realise that no political party or candidate can boast of easy victory, which now makes them work and campaign hard for the election.
According to him, a total of 914,529 cards were yet to be collected while only 248,064 have been collected since after the 2015 elections.
He explained that the number of uncollected cards include those belonging to deceased registered voters.
Mr Agboke called on voters to collect their cards, stressing the need for them to play their role in choosing leaders of their choice for the society.