The Independent National Election Commission struck down those involved in the purchase of Permanent Voter Cards and the collection of Voter Identification Numbers on Monday.

The National Commissioner and Chairman of the INEC Voter Information and Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said their actions would only oppress voters and prevent them from exercising their rights on election day.

Okoye, who spoke on The Morning Show on Arise TV, pointed out that the data of each registered voter was domiciled in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and not in the PVCs.

He said: “Those who are collecting VINs from registered voters are doing it to no avail. Why are you collecting and buying VINs when those VINs were posted in our local government areas and in our registration areas when we display voter records for complaints and objections? Those VIN’s are there.

“We have made it very clear that this Commission will implement BVAS for voter identification and authentication and the data of every registered voter in Nigeria per voting unit is domiciled in BVAS and not PVCs. All the President will do on Election Day is look at the last six digits of his PVC and use it to display his VIN in order to retrieve his BVAS data. Those who buy PVC and collect VIN can only participate in the oppression of voters. They can only prevent the voter from going to the voting unit on Election Day, but in terms of taking someone else’s PVC to give it to someone else to vote, I can assure you that it is almost impossible.

Speaking about the recruitment of ad hoc staff for the elections, Okoye said: “The Commission will hire 1.4 million ad hoc staff consisting of members of the National Youth Service Corps and students from tertiary institutions in their final year. You will know that it is almost impossible for INEC to have more than 1.4 million staff members on its payroll. The Commission’s force staff is around 16,000 and so when we delegate collection to the various registration areas, we will engage the services of the corps members to help the Commission deliver these PVCs.”

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