The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has debunked the news making the rounds in the social media that voters can vote on Election Day without the voters card.
Yakubu stated this during an induction retreat for new Resident Electoral Commissioners on Wednesday in Lagos.
The Chairman said the success of INEC ultimately depended on its integrity, adding that it should remain independent and impartial.
“As I said on many occasions, the Commission is not a political party. It has no candidates in the forthcoming election. All political parties have equal standing before the Commission. The choice belongs to Nigerian citizens i.e. the electorate. Our responsibility is to uphold the sanctity of the ballot – nothing more nothing less.
“On this note, let me seize this opportunity to comment on two issues. First, is the misleading statement shared online that voters can vote on Election Day without the voter’s card. This is absolutely incorrect. For any person to vote in any election organised by the Commission, he/she must be a registered voter issued with a PVC. The Commission has consistently maintained the policy of “no PVC, no voting”. Nothing has changed. It is a legal requirement and doing otherwise will be a violation of the law. I appeal to Nigerians to ignore any suggestion to the contrary. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that “a person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a Presiding Officer for accreditation at the Polling Unit in the constituency in which his name is registered”. Therefore, the position of the law is clear. The PVC remains a mandatory requirement for voting during elections.
“Secondly, I wish to once again touch on the troubling issue of attacks on our facilities and the destruction of critical electoral assets in the country. In the last four months, five Local Government Area offices of the Commission were attacked by yet unknown persons. Buildings have been destroyed and materials lost in Udenu and Igboeze North Local Areas of Enugu State, Abeokuta South Local Government of Ogun State, Ede South Local Government Area of Osun State and, most recently, in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. In these mindless attacks, a total of 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators and thousands of uncollected PVCs were, among other materials, destroyed. These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted.
“I want to reassure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks. The lost materials will be replaced but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing wantonly destroyed materials with just 86 days to the General Election. The security agencies, traditional and community leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians should continue to support the Commission to stop the attacks but the ultimate solution is arrest and prosecution so that vandals and arsonists do not feel that bad behaviour is an acceptable conduct in our country”.