Politicians buying PVCs from voters – INEC chairman

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised the alarm that some politicians have been buying up Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) or inducing voters financially to collect the Voter Identification Numbers.

The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, raised the alarm on Monday during its quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, where he presented the 2019 voter register and electoral guidelines to the parties.

He said, “A new method of vote-buying is being devised. We have received credible information that some partisan actors are now going round buying up PVCs from voters or financially inducing them to collect the VINs on their PVCs.

“In some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected. By collecting the PVCs, their intention may be to deprive the voters of voting since no one can vote without the PVC. By collecting their phone numbers and bank details, the intention is to induce voters by electronic transfer of funds to their accounts since it will be difficult to buy votes at polling units.

“By collecting the VINs, they may be acting on the mistaken notion that our system can be hacked into and the card readers somehow preloaded ahead of election and compromised. We want to assure Nigerians that we are aware of the new tricks. It is a futile effort; we will work with security agencies to deal with the violators of our electoral laws, including those who may be trying to compromise our staff responsible for making the PVCs available for collection by the legitimate voters.”

The commission also vowed to keep a close watch on political parties by monitoring their campaign finances.

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