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INEC says politicians are buying PVCs from registered voters

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said politicians are buying Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from registered voters to harvest their Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) ahead of the 2023 general elections.

INEC National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna made this known while speaking at an event organized by NESSACTION, an election observer group in Abuja on Monday, December 12.

While warning both politicians and unsuspecting Nigerians of the development, Haruna reiterated that no person will vote on election days without PVC.

The revealed that two people were recently convicted for illegal possession of PVCs in Sokoto and Kano states.

“We are aware some politicians are more or less buying the PVCs,” he said.

“If you collect the PVC and then you sell it out or allow someone else to have it, you are aiding illegal possession of the PVC which is an offence in our Electoral Act.

“Some of you are aware that only recently, INEC managed to convict two people, who were found guilty of illegal possession of PVCs in Kano and Sokoto.”

He urged people to collect and keep their PVCs safe, and make sure they vote for candidate of their choice on election day.

Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) have accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of the alleged act.

In separate interviews with newsmen, the PDP and LP condemned the APC, accusing of weaponising poverty because it is desperate to retain power in 2023.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, called on INEC not to handle the allegations with levity, but investigate it and prosecute the culprits.

“The alarm raised by INEC should not be taken lightly because in the last couple of weeks, Nigerians have seen an upsurge in the desperate tactics by the ruling All Progressives Congress, to grab and retain power by all means including the purchase of PVCs from gullible people,” Ologunagba said according to Vanguard Newspaper.

“The party has weaponized poverty which it intends to use to cow Nigerians into doing its bidding.

“While we await a thorough investigation to unravel the extent to which APCs desperation has led it into seeking to criminally manipulate our electoral process to subvert the will of Nigerians, we implore our security agencies and President Buhari, to remain faithful to their promise to bequeath a credible, free and fair election come 2023.”

Similarly, spokesperson of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, condemn “electoral crime” in all its ramifications.

He said the politicians INEC was referring to were not in the rank and file of the LP, saying his party “have been taking our plea for votes directly to Nigerians.

“Our candidate has been campaigning and appearing in debates and town hall meetings because he knows the power to put him and his running mate and of course, our party in office is in the hands of the people.

Tanko enjoined Nigerians to beware of politicians, who are trying to use stolen funds in the past to buy their PVCs and votes in 2023.

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