Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has refuted claims that voters registered with INEC in 2023 will be able to cast ballots without showing their PVCs during the polls.
During a current induction retreat for Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos, Yakubu provided this clarification. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) was responsible for hosting the conference.
According to INEC’s chairman, the reports that went viral late last week are false and run counter to the Electoral Act of 2022, specifically Section 47:1, which states that voters must “present themselves with their voter card to a presiding officer for accreditation at the polling unit in his constituency in which their name is registered.”
His remarks were made because the recently implemented Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) may verify voters even if they do not physically produce their cards at polling stations, suggesting that Nigerians should be allowed to vote without PVCs.
He elaborated, “Nobody can vote without the PVC. The position of the law is, therefore, clear. The PVC is a requirement for voting.”
Meanwhile, a coalition of INEC registered civil society organisations (CSOs), under the auspices of Saving Our Votes, said it uncovered about 84,000 underage persons in Plateau State’s voter register.”
At a press conference in Abuja on behalf of the coalition, Stafford Jedidiah Bisong of Intercontinental Leadership Initiative lamented that the register is rife with minors, some younger than five years old.
Bisong claims the investigation uncovered several registrations in Wase, Kanam, and Kanke in Jos North. He also said some were discovered in Sharabutu in Riyom Council as well.
“While we applaud technological advancement in the electoral process, INEC should find solutions in creating a seamless process for PVC collection, as the current process is not as effective as required,” he continued, urging INEC to clean up the register in Plateau State and across the country.