From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed the speculation that it’s previously issued Voters Cards have expired and will no longer be valid for voting.
Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, made the clarification following claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader in a trending video that his supporters should go and take part in the ongoing ‘new registration’ because “the PVC you have has expired”.
Prof. Eyinla warned that: “this information is NOT CORRECT!!! The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains VALID. This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations.”
Eyinla further urged the media to; “Please use your various media to help prevent this development.”
Similarly, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, also assured that; “Nigerians who already have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) do not need to register again.”
“In fact, double registration is an offence under our laws. Eligible Nigerians are entitled to register only once. Once a name appears on the National Register of Voters, it stays there permanently.
“One of the very few instances where a name could be removed from the register is if there is a strong and verifiable proof that the person bearing the name has died,” Oyekanmi clearfield.
Meanwhile, the Commission has admitted that 2022 is going to be a very busy year for it.
In his remarks during the quarterly meeting with Civil Society Organization in Abuja on Wednesday, the Commission’s boss, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, assured those yet to collect their PVC to expect prompt response.
“The year 2022 is going to be a very busy year for the Commission and civil society organisations. The 2023 General Election is just 395 days away. Critical preparations must be concluded this year. For instance, the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) which commenced in June last year has entered the third quarter.
“Related to the issue of voter registration is the issuance of PVCs. We are aware that Nigerians want to know when their PVCs will be available for collection. We appreciate the role of civil society organisations in encouraging and mobilizing eligible Nigerians who have not registered to do so.
“At the same time, we want you to continue to sensitise them that those who had registered at any time previously need not register again. For those who have completed the registration, the Commission is right now undertaking the most comprehensive cleaning up of the data to ensure that only eligible citizens are added to the voters’ register for the 2023 General Election.
“We will share our findings with Nigerians very soon. The actual dates for the collection of the PVCs nationwide will also be announced very soon,” he said.