The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday dismissed a video allegedly showing some of its staff harvesting Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) from Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in Lagos.
In the video trending on social media, some INEC staff were seen at the commission’s office in FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of the state, extracting the VINs from PVCs and entering same into their mobile telephones.
The content of the video sparked outrage on social media with many claiming that the move was part of a grand plan by the commission and its collaborators to undermine the 2023 general elections.
However, in a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the commission staff were carrying out an inventory of uncollected PVCs in the area.
The statement read: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has become aware of a video circulating on various social media platforms, showing some INEC staff at our FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Office, Lagos extracting Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) from Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and entering same into their cellphones.
“The makers of the video insinuate that they were doing this for the purpose of undermining the 2023 General Election. The Commission wishes to state categorically that this is far from the truth.
“Actually, the video shows staff of the Commission harvesting VINS from PVCs, but only as part of an inventory of uncollected cards, provided for in the new Guidelines for the Management and Collection of PVCs, approved by the Commission for implementation nationwide.
“In its determination to enhance the rate of collection of PVCs, the Commission decided to establish a PVC collection process that includes an online component. The procedure entails that registered voters with access to the Internet could go to a dedicated portal to ascertain whether their PVCs are ready and to find their locations for subsequent collection.
“All they are required to do is to provide their details such as name, date of birth, state of registration or the last six digits of the VINs that they provided/received during registration, to locate their cards. This would improve the PVC collection process, but without prejudice to those who wish to go directly to the collection centres.”
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