Posted by News Express | 31 January 2015 | 3,323 times
Fourteen thousand Permanent Voter Cards, (PVCs) have been stolen from officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the collection exercise in Rivers State.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan, who disclosed this to journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday, expressed worries that some of the cards were stolen from local government collection centres where the PVCs were deposited to enable the rightful owners collect them.
She, however, assured that over 50,000 PVCs would be distributed before the general elections, saying that over 80 per cent of registered voters in the state have collected their PVCs.
Khan also disclosed that her office received 2,990,056 PVCs and distributed 1,869,379.
The commissioner said she was not happy that Rivers State recorded one of the highest cases of stolen PVC’s in the country
She said: “I am appealing to Rivers people because we have lost a lot of cards. We have lost more than 14,000 PVCs and it is one of the highest figures in the country.
“All the cards that are being snatched are useless and meaningless because we are going to use card readers in the election. Card readers are just like ATM cards. When you take the PVC there, they will slot it into the card reader to confirm if it is yours before you are allowed to vote.
“If you go there with another person’s voter card, it is useless. So, I am advising those of you with other people’s cards to return them to the local government offices so that the rightful owners can collect them and be able to participate in the elections.
“Polling officers will on presentation of the PVC by an electorate slot it into the card reader to confirm if it belongs to you. The next stage is the confirmation of your fingerprints by the card reader before you are allowed to vote. If you go to the polling booth with someone else’s voter card, you will not be able to vote because each card is unique and can only be authenticated by the real owner. The PVCs are meaningless to those who have stolen them.”
According to her, “The PVCs are beyond registration; the cards are beyond voting. People now use these cards in the banks as a means of identifying themselves. All those who snatched these cards should please take them to the designated collection centres so that we can give them to the rightful owners so that the rightful owners can use them during the elections to perform their legitimate civic duties.”
She declared it would be difficult for politicians to rig the forthcoming election either through ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing or writing of election results in hotel rooms or homes of influential politicians.
She said ballot papers and result sheets for each of the 23 local government areas in the state would be coded and have also been printed in colours that can be traced to each local government. Mrs. Khan assured that the 2015 election would be peaceful because of the cooperation among INEC, police and other security agencies.
Adapted from Daily Independent
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