14,000 PVCs Stolen In Rivers, Says INEC
RIVERS State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan has disclosed that over 14,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) were snatched from officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the collection exercise in the state recently.
Briefing journalists on the development Friday, Khan said some of the cards were stolen from local government collection centres where the PVC’s were deposited to enable the rightful owners have unfettered access to them at the close of the collection exercise coordinated by INEC.
She, however, disclosed that about 50,000 PVCs would be distributed to the rightful owners before the February general elections.
Khan noted that over 80 per cent of registered voters in the state have collected their PVC’s, adding that her office received 2,990,056 PVCs and has distributed 1,869,379.
While expressing disappointment on the action of the hoodlums, the REC regretted that the state recorded one of the highest cases of stolen PVCs in the country ahead of the February elections.
She said: “I am appealing to Rivers people because we have lost a lot of cards. We have lost more than 14,000 PVCs and it is one of the highest figures in the federation.
“All the cards that are being snatched are useless and meaningless because we are going to use a new system called card readers.
“Your card readers are just like ATM cards. You take it there and they slot it into the card reader to confirm if it is yours before you are allowed to vote.
“So, if you go there with another person’s voters’ card, it is meaningless. I am advising those of you with other peoples’ cards to return them to the local government offices so that the rightful owners can collect them so that they can participate in the general election.”
Khan warned politicians that it would be difficult for them to rig the February elections either through ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing or the writing of bloated election results in hotel rooms or the homes of influential politicians.
She emphasised that ballot papers and result sheets for each of the 23 local government areas in the state would be coded and have also been printed in colours that could be traced to each local government.
She assured that the 2015 election would be peaceful because of the cooperation among INEC, police and other security agencies in the state.