By Isaac Aregbesola
Abuja – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says no one can use the identification number on Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to comprise the smart card reader machine on Election Day.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, stated this at a forum tagged, “Women National Dialogue with INEC Chairman”, organised by European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) with INEC on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mahmood was responding to allegations that some party agents were collecting PVCs’ identification numbers in exchange for money.
He maintained that there was no way anybody could compromise the integrity of the process simply by knowing the voter identification number of the electorate.
The chairman said it was unimaginable for someone to go and give money to collect voter identification number to manipulate the election.
“We heard that some people have been going round inducing voters to produce their PVCs, copy the voter identification numbers and return the PVCs to the voters.
“No one should believe that somehow they can induce the voters and copy their voter identification numbers to comprise the smart card readers and therefore comprise the election.
“I want to assure you and other Nigerians that nothing like that can happen on Election Day,” the chairman said.
He assured that there was no way anyone could use the voter identification number to either comprise the smart card reader on Election Day or compromise the process.
“There is no way anybody can compromise the integrity of the process simply by knowing the voter identification number of voters,” he said.
The Chairman however said that preference would be given to pregnant women, nursing mothers and people living with disabilities irrespective of the age, on queue during the election.
He also called on Nigerians registered who were yet to pick their PVCs to do on or before Friday.
He said there was still opportunity for anyone to pick his or her PVCs before the Election Day
He commended some women groups for sensitising Nigerians on the need to pick their PVC’s and vote peacefully during the forthcoming election.
Mahmood said INEC was committed to enhancing women’s participation in the election.
Meanwhile, he said the commission had been dragged to court 639 times over the conduct of congresses and primaries of political parties for the general election.
“Arising from the conduct of congresses and primaries of political parties for the 2019 general election, we have been dragged to court 639 times so far as at 10 days ago.
“In addition, we have received 186 petitions from aggrieved parties and candidates, and we have 584 requests for certified true copies of documents,” he said.
He, however, assured that the commission would continue to uphold the truth and obey court orders irrespective of the number of cases.
“The commission does not provide life insurance to those who observe elections.
“We only provide insurance for ad hoc staff on election duty. As a matter of policy, all those who observe election are not provided insurance.”
He said the commission plans to engage over a million ad-hoc staff for general election.
He said INEC always recognise those who have served well by granting them automatic employment after election.(NAN)