The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State, Barr. Mutiu Agboke, has advised politicians to perish the thought of buying or acquirng uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) through staff of the commission.
He gave the advise on Thursday while speaking at a one day seminar organised by the Oyo state chapter of Association of Online Media Practioners of Nigeria (OMPAN).
He revealed that some politicians were already approaching staff of the commission in surreptituous ways, seeking to get hold of uncollected PVCs.
“According to the security reports that I have, some politicians are currently looking for PVCs to buy. But I want them to know that they are wasting their time. No INEC official will sell PVC to anybody,” he said.
The INEC boss stated that the commission is ready to go extra miles to ensure that the PVCs are handed over to the voters in person “but there can never be collection by proxy”.
He added: “Some of them complain that many voters in their stronghold were yet to collect their PVCs, and we told them, ‘tell us where your strongholds are in Oyo state, tell the voters to come out and we’ll take the cards to them there.’ They refused. They want us to give them the cards to go and distribute. Of course, that is not possible. INEC has out measures in place to ensure that PVCs do not get to the hands of such people”
Agboke appealed to those who are yet to collect their PVCs to do so, disclosing that 914,529 PVCs remain uncollected as at the moment he was speaking. He said that after the conclusion of the last general elections in 2015, 248,064 PVCs have been collected so far.
According to him, those who applied for transfer of their PVCs can also collect them as such cards have been delivered to the various INEC offices. He gave the number of such PVCs as 103,737.
Speaking further, Agboke advised journalists to always get their facts correct and be professional with their reporting especially ahead of the 2019 elections. He also advised against the publishing of fictitious election results online.
Speakers at the event which held at the NUJ Press Centre in Ibadan, include former Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Wale Ojo-Lanre; Southwest Bureau Chief of The Nation Newspaper, Bisi Oladele and the current chairman of Oyo NUJ, Comrade Adewumi Faniran