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No PVC No Voting– INEC Chairman

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu

The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has debunked the news making the rounds in social media that voters can vote on Election Day without a voter’s card.

Yakubu stated this during an induction retreat for new Resident Electoral Commissioners on Wednesday in Lagos.

The Chairman said the success of INEC ultimately depended on its integrity, adding that it should remain independent and impartial.

“ let me seize this opportunity to 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 organized by the Commission, he/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.

According to the INEC boss, “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”.

He, therefore, said the position of the law is clear, PVC remains a mandatory requirement for voting during elections.

Prof Yakubu said in the last four months, five local Government offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons.

He said buildings and materials have been destroyed and 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 him, a total of 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators and thousands of uncollected PVCs were, among other materials, destroyed.

Prof Yakubu reassured Nigerians that INEC will recover from the attacks and the lost materials will be replaced, noting that there is a limit to the ability to keep replacing wantonly destroyed materials with just 86 days to the General Election.

He called on security agencies, traditional and community leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support the Commission to stop the attacks.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino