The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is faced with a new challenge, 228 days to the 2019 general elections.
There is an attempt to sell cloned Nigerian permanent voters cards online.
The electoral body confirmed in a statement on Sunday that it had received reports of the attempts to clone and sell the PVCs on one of the world’s most popular e-commerce platforms, Alibaba.com.
On Monday, it said it had succeeded, through engagements with the concerned agencies and parties, in getting the advert taken down from the site “with the assurance that they will not be posted again”.
Apart from the attempts to clone and sell PVCs online, INEC said it “is aware of several attempts” to compromise its systems and platforms including its website.
The appearance of the advert for the sale of cloned PVCs online has created a social media storm with many Nigerians concerned about the likely implication for the elections.
But in a statement on Sunday, INEC said it had anticipated such moves and assured Nigerians of the integrity of the electoral process.
“We wish to assure the public that the commission had anticipated these and proactively take measures to preserve and further secure our electoral materials,” Director, Voter Education, and Publicity, INEC, Mr Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, said in the statement.
“Several security features and secret source codes are contained in Smart Card Readers which enable them to read only PVCs duly issued by the commission.”
In any case, the INEC did not consider the online advert as credible as “it shows photographs of blank cards which have not been personalised and which do not contain any details”.
Nevertheless, the commission said it would continue to take all attempts at compromising its systems and the electoral process seriously and reassured the public that not only are the systems robust, it would continue to fortify them ahead of the 2019 general elections.