Burnt PVCs Will Be Replaced, INEC Chairman Assures Ogun Voters 

A file photo of INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

 

The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has assured residents of Ogun State whose Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were burnt by hoodlums that the items will be replaced before the 2023 general elections.

He gave the assurance while paying a courtesy call on the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Aremu Gbadebo in his palace as part of his one day working visit to the state

The national chairman sought the understanding and cooperation of traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in ensuring the success of the exercise.

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He assured the people that nobody will be disenfranchised as a result of the fire incidents in the state of late.

Attacks on INEC offices have surged in recent times with at least three incidents recorded only in November. 65,699 uncollected PVCs were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states while several PVCs and other electoral items were also burnt during an attack in Ebonyi State.

PVCs, Others Destroyed As Hoodlums Raze INEC Office In Ebonyi

Inec-office-ebonyi-attack
The fire incident is the latest in attacks on INEC offices across Nigeria.

 

Several Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other items were destroyed when some hoodlums set the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on fire. 

“The incident occurred around 10.00 am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze,” INEC’s National Commissioner & Chairman
Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in a Sunday statement.

“Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures, and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”

[READ ALSO] 2023: INEC, Security Forces Working To Tackle Threats – Hayatu-Deen

 

He said security agencies have been informed about the most recent incident and that an investigation has started.

“Sadly, this is the third attack on our local government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun states on 10th November 2022,” Okoye said.

Election offices have been attacked recently in the country’s southeast, where separatists are seeking a breakaway state for the local Igbo people, but attacks in the southwest are rarer.

Security will be a major issue in the election with the armed forces battling an insurgency in the northeast, heavily armed criminal gangs in the northwest and central states, and separatist agitators in the southeast.

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, fallout from the war in Ukraine, and its worst flooding in a decade that has impacted farms and food production.

Nigerians go to the ballot box in February to vote for a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army commander who steps down after two terms in office.

Two Arrested, Prosecuted For Being In Possession Of 468 PVCs

1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC
File photo of the Permanent Voter Cards.

 

Police authorities have arrested two offenders in possession of 468 Permanent Voters’ Cards, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have said.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

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Although Okoye identified the first offender as Nasiru Idris, saying he was found with 101 PVCs in Sokoto States, the identity of the other culprit however was not revealed.

The INEC National Commissioner noted that the man was caught with 367 PVCs and is currently being charged in court.

According to him, the offence is in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“In the last couple of weeks, the Nigeria Police has arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voters’ cards in some States of the Federation,” the statement read.

“In one case, the Police have concluded the investigation and handed over the case file to the Commission resulting in the successful prosecution of one Nasiru Idris at a Magistrate Court in Sokoto who was found to be in possession of 101 PVCs in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2022. He has been sentenced to a year in prison.

“Similarly, the Police in Kano State have arrested a man who was found to be in possession of 367 PVCs. The suspect has been charged to Court and the Commission is pursuing his prosecution.

“The Commission wishes to reiterate that it will continue to pursue all violators of the Electoral Act and ensure their diligent prosecution.”

On the PVC collection, Okoye stated that INEC is determined to make the process as seamless as possible.

He added, “A Standard Operating Procedure has been developed. This will be among the issues to be discussed and finalised at a retreat holding in Lagos from November 28 to December 2, 2022, involving all the Resident Electoral Commissioners.

“At the end of the retreat, the Commission will release the dates as well as the detailed procedure for the immediate collection of PVCs nationwide.

“The Commission appreciates the patience and understanding of Nigerians, especially those who registered as voters or applied for transfer/replacement of their cards from January to July 2022. In making the cards available for collection, the Commission is also working to ensure that the process is hitch-free.”

Police Arrest Man With Over 100 PVCs In Sokoto

1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC
File photo of the Permanent Voter Cards.

 

The police authorities in Sokoto State have arrested a man in possession of over 100 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), four months before the commencement of the 2023 general elections.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Muhammed Ussaini Gumel, disclosed this on Thursday while briefing journalists at the Command Headquarters in Sokoto.

Although the police authorities are yet to trace the actual owners of the PVCs, Gumel said it is believed that the owners of the PVCs are not residents of Sabon Birnin alone where the suspect was arrested.

READ ALSO: We’re Yet To Print Voters’ Cards Of 2022 Registrants – INEC

He called on members of the public especially those with cases of missing PVCs to visit the command headquarters where copies of the cards will be displayed for owners to identify and reclaim them.

According to the CP, the prosecution of the suspect will be facilitated by the proofs and testimonies of owners who show up at the command headquarters to claim their PVCs.

Shortly after the briefing, the commissioner also decorated six newly promoted officers with their new ranks.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has not printed the PVCs of Nigerians who participated in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise from January 15 to July 31, 2022.

INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, made this known on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.

Okoye said, “If you are a registered voter, in other words if you belong to the class of 84 million Nigerians that have already registered, you can track your data in our database.

“Secondly, if you were one of those that registered with the Commission during the Continuous Voter Registration exercise between 28th day of June 2021 and 14th day of January 2022, you can track where your Permanent Voter Card is and you will still be in a position to collect it.”

We’re Yet To Print Voters’ Cards Of 2022 Registrants – INEC

1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC
File photo of the Permanent Voter Cards.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not printed the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of Nigerians who participated in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise from January 15 to July 31, 2022.

INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, made this known on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.

Okoye said, “If you are a registered voter, in other words if you belong to the class of 84 million Nigerians that have already registered, you can track your data in our database.

“Secondly, if you were one of those that registered with the Commission during the Continuous Voter Registration exercise between 28th day of June 2021 and 14th day of January 2022, you can track where your Permanent Voter Card is and you will still be in a position to collect it.

 

 

“But if you register between the 15th day of January 2022 and the 31st day of July 2022, the implication is that you are not yet a registered voter in the true sense of the word because we have just finished the cleaning up of the voters’ register which is still ongoing.

“So, it is not possible for you to know where your permanent voters card is because we are yet to print your permanent voter cards and we are yet to make these permanent voter cards available for the registrants.”

He said there is pressure on INEC to conduct free and fair elections in 2023 and that it will be difficult for any politician to compromise the sanctity of electoral process in next year’s poll.

Okoye also said INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu can only be removed constitutionally if he commits any infraction against his office but dismissed rumours of the removal of the INEC boss.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yakubu at Third Quarterly Meeting with political parties for the year 2022 in Abuja said 40% of newly registered voters are students whilst 76.5 percent of the newly registered voters are young people.

According to Yakubu, 9,518,188 new voters have been added to the existing register of 84,004,084 voters and preliminary register of voters in Nigeria now stands at 93,522,272.

INEC had in July suspended the CVR after a one-month extension following the Federal High Court’s dismissal of a suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which sought an extension of the exercise beyond June 30, 2022.

CVR: INEC Deletes 2.7 Million Double Registrants, PVCs Ready November

Mahmoud Yakubu

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said new Permanent Voter Cards will be made available by November.

INEC Chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu said this at a National Endowment for Democracy event in Washington DC in the United States.

Yakubu said 2.7 million double registrations were weeded out of the last Continuous Voters Registration exercise conducted by the commission.

According to him, about 50% of the new PVCs are ready but yet to be distributed to collection centres.

He also raised concerns about the rising levels of insecurity across the country, saying the Commission has its “fingers crossed”.

“It is a perennial issue because, at the end of the day, it is not new but the dimension of the insecurity is new in the sense that in the past, it was localised or confined to a particular part of the country  – the North-East but now, it is more widespread,” he said.

“We are keeping our eyes, particularly, on the North-West and the South-Eastern part of the country. Elections are conducted by human beings. We worry about the security of our officials, materials, and even the voters themselves. Without them, elections cannot be conducted. ”

The INEC chief, however, said they “have spoken to the security agencies and they have assured us that the situation will improve before the elections. So, fingers crossed.”

Hundreds Of Permanent Voters Card Discovered By Hunters In Bayelsa

Commandant of Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Services, Moses Okanu, speaks after handing over the 320 recovered PVCs to INEC in Bayelsa State on July 27, 2022.

 

Hunters under the aegis of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Services have discovered over 320 Permanent Voters Cards in Bayelsa State.

The hunters handed over the hundreds of PVCs to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the state capital.

While handing over the cards to INEC, the Commandant of the association, Moses Okanu, disclosed that they were found at an uncompleted building along the AIT/Elebele Road in Yenagoa.

He said the items were recovered when his men were combing the bushes and forests on Tuesday around Asikoro and Elebele in the state.

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Okanu stated that the hunters were attracted by a noise in the forest, and upon approaching the uncompleted building; the occupants of the facility fled the scene.

“We have been combing the bushes in the nooks and crannies because of the happening we have been hearing in the bushes. We started from Azikoro and went through Elebele,” he said

“In the course of our going round, we ran into an uncompleted building in the bush and we heard some noise with our usual way of operation to ascertain those who were there, the people sighting us started to jump out of the windows of the uncompleted building.

“So, we were able to penetrate into the building and what we saw was the abandoned voters’ cards. So knowing full well that these are Federal Government property and the only authority empowered or authorised by law to keep custody of these items is INEC, we have to recover them and decided to bring it to the Commission.”

Receiving the voters’ card on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commission, Dr Alex Hart, INEC Administrative Secretary, Okop Umobong, said the commission will investigate the circumstances that led to the cards being found in the forest.

The INEC official also commended the Hunters Association for bringing the cards to the commission as well as keeping the neighbourhood safe.

According to him, the INEC investigation would determine whether the PVCs were abandoned in the process of printing or belonged to genuine voters.

Niger Govt Declares Two-Day Holiday For PVC Registration, Collection

A file photo of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has declared Thursday, 30th June 2022, and Friday, 1st July 2022 as state-wide public holidays to enable the people of Niger State to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

The governor made the declaration in a press statement signed on Thursday by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane in Minna.

The holiday, he said, is to enable civil servants, public office holders, and citizens of the State who have attained the age of 18 years or lost their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) or even changed their locations to take advantage of the ongoing INEC Continuous Voters Registration Exercise and obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).

Governor Bello equally directed all Commissioners, Special Advisers, and top government officials to proceed to their respective Local Governments to sensitize and mobilize the general public to come out en-mass to register and obtain their Voter Cards before the closing date announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“At the end of the exercise, Commissioners and Special Advisers are expected to render reports on the outcome of the exercise in their Local Government Areas, the statement stressed. Voters Card remains the only tool that allows people to elect credible candidates of their choice,” the statement read.

While asking everyone to come out in large numbers to obtain their voter cards, the governor then tasked every political Appointee to submit reports on the outcome of the exercise in their local government areas.

2023 Elections: Collect Your PVCs And Vote, EU Charges Nigerians

A logo for the European Union

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the European Union has charged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards, register and vote on the election day.

The EU gave the charge on Tuesday via a statement issued by its press officer, Modestus Chukwulaka, pledging to support the mobilisation of voters to fully participate in the polls.

The EU delegation said it will embark on the “Youth Vote Count Campaign 2.0, organised in collaboration with INEC, YIAGA and other civil society organisations in the framework of EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).”

READ ALSO: Two Senators Defect From APC To PDP

“As Nigeria will go to the polls for its seventh general elections since the return to civilian rule, the EU Delegation encourages eligible voters, and youth in particular, to register and collect their PVCs (Permanent Voter Card) and to turn out on election day!” the statement partly read.

It said a mega-concert will take place on Saturday 25th June in Abuja with the participation of celebrities and influencers to encourage voters’ participation, following one of such which was held in Lagos on 11th June.

On the Ekiti election, the union congratulated all stakeholders and the people of the state on a largely peaceful poll.

This is even as it commended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on improved logistics, including early deployment of personnel and essential materials in the majority of the polling units, better functioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and efficient electronic transmission of polling unit results to INEC’s results viewing portal.

While noting that the improvement augurs well for the 2023 general elections, the EU encouraged voters, and in particular the youth and women, to sustain their participation beyond the elections by holding candidates accountable for their campaign promises.

INEC Mulling Extension Of Voter Registration – Prof Mahmood

A man displays his voter's card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
A man displays his voter’s card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the body is considering extending the continuous voter registration exercise. 

“We have heard your requests loud & clear. You will soon hear from us on the extension of CVR registration,” the chairman of the agency, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said in a tweet on its official handle.

“Please assure me that you will register, pick your PVCs, and Vote. I also assure you that your vote will count.”

READ ALSO: INEC Records ‘Unprecedented Surge’ In PVC Registration, To Deploy More Machines

INEC Deploys More Machines

His comments followed calls from several quarters for the body to extend the registration scheduled to end on June 30.

On Friday, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room), a coalition of Civil Society Organisations, called on the electoral body to extend the deadline.

The CSOs believe “citizens have now intensified their efforts in registering for their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC).

“There have also been several appeals by Nigerians to INEC to extend the registration exercise to enable them to register to obtain a PVC. Situation Room has received reports of large crowds at the INEC offices across the country.”

On the same day, the commission admitted there is a surge in PVC registration across the country.

“In response, the Commission has immediately released additional 209 machines deployed mainly to the five South Eastern States, Lagos, and Kano where the pressure is most acute,” the Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye said

“The Commission will monitor the situation over the next few days. Thereafter, it will meet to review the progress of the exercise.”

2023: About 20 Million PVCs Uncollected, INEC Laments

rivers state

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lamented the high number of uncollected Permanent Voters Card (PVCs), putting the figure at about 20 million.

INEC National Commissioner of FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau States, Mohammed Haruna, disclosed this on Tuesday at the launch of a campaign to drive the collection of PVCs and increase participation in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise.

He stated that statistics by INEC in 2019 showed that over 84 million PVCs were printed.

Of the figure, the INEC Commissioner explained that over 72 million were collected while over 11 million voter cards were left uncollected.

Giving a breakdown of the figure, the South-West had the highest number of uncollected PVCs with over 3.4 million, followed by the North-West with over 1.9 million then the South-South with over 1.7 million.

While the North-Central had about 1.5 million uncollected cards, the South-East recorded over 1.4 million, the North-East had over 800,000 and the FCT had about 318,000 uncollected voter’s cards.

“Ahead of the 2019 general elections, there were 84 million PVCs. I think close to 20 million (PVCs have not been collected),” he said.

“It may be a small percentage but in terms of absolute number, that’s huge. 20 million is probably more than the voters of so many West African countries put together.”

To change the narrative, Nessaction, a civil society organisation is launching a Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the PVC collection campaign in collaboration with INEC, United Nations Development Programme and YIAGA Africa to drive collection in the FCT and Nasarawa State.

In April, INEC announced a total of over 1.8 million newly PVCs, comprising over 1.3 million cards of genuine, new registrants and 464,340 PVCs for verified applicants for transfer or replacement of cards were ready for collection.

‘The Youths Are Coming,’ Ambode Breaks Long Silence, Asks Youths To Get PVCs Ready

A file photo of former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

 

The immediate past governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode after a long silence since leaving office in 2019, has asked Nigerian youths to register and get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to vote in the 2023 elections saying power is in their hands.

Ambode made this known in a post shared on his official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

He also appreciated Lagosians for endorsing his contributions to the development of the state

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“The youths are coming. The power is in their hands. Go and get your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) ready. Your future is NOW!

“After all we have been through, God has been faithful. Thank you for the overwhelming endorsement of our modest contributions to the growth of Lagos. It can only get better for Lagos, and indeed Nigeria,” Ambode said.

 

Since he left office in 2019, Ambode has been missing at political functions. preferring the quiet ambiance.

Ambode served as the governor of Lagos State from 2015 to 2019 and lost his re-election to Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary.

He was the first governor of Lagos State to stay in office for four years since the return to democracy in 1999.

Before Ambode, the current Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, was Lagos governor between 2007 and 2015 while Tinubu was governor from 1999 to 2007.

Although Ambode has not announced his intention to contest any political office in 2023, he is constitutionally permitted to be in office for one more term of four years if the electorate so decides.