INEC has warned that it will work with security agencies to deal with those who will try to compromise the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards at the ward level.
INEC National Commissioner, Dr Mustapha Lecky, issued the warning in a message on Monday in Asaba, during an interactive session between the commission and the executive of the Delta Traditional Rulers Council.
Lecky’ message was read by Angela Ebodaghe, the Head of Department (Legal) of Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta.
The warning is coming at heals of Wednesday commencement of distribution of Permanent Voter Cards in Registration Areas across the country.
He said: “INEC has specifically arranged for those who have yet to collect their cards to do so from January 16 to 21, 2019 at the designated centres in their wards.
“We will work with the security agencies to deal with the violators of our electoral laws, including those who may try to compromise our staff responsible for making the PVCs available for collection.”
The national commissioner said that smart card readers would be used to confirm, verify and authenticate the voters as well as ensure that the cards were issued by INEC.
He said: “Cloned cards that do not match the codes for a particular polling unit in which the voter is registered will be rejected by the card reader.
“Similarly the claim that the card reader has been enhanced to recapture voter’s fingerprints at polling units and automatically overwrite the biometric record in our database is untrue and should be disregarded.”
Lecky disclosed that some politicians had devised a new method of vote buying but gave the assurance that the commission would forestall it.
The national commissioner said that INEC was aware that some partisan actors were now going round buying up PVCs and inducing voters financially to collect the Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) in the PVCs.
He said: “In some instances, telephone numbers and bank account details 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 PVCs.
“By collecting their phone numbers and bank details, the intention is to induce voters by electronic transfers 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 election, will be compromised.”
He called on the royal fathers to help ensure that their subjects who had not collected their PVCs used the opportunity provided by INEC and collect them at the wards, while thanking them for their cooperation so far.
Earlier, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Delta, Francis Enabor, told the traditional rulers that the aim of the session was to brief them on the commission’s preparedness for the 2019 general election.
Enabor also appealed to them to ensure that their subjects who had not collected their PVCs did so now that the distribution had been brought close to them.
He said: “The politicians are your sons and daughters. We appeal that you talk to them and prevail on them not to use the youths to ferment trouble during this election.”