Home News INEC kicks against Pat Utomi’s request of voting without PVCs

INEC kicks against Pat Utomi’s request of voting without PVCs

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Pat Utomi, a political economist and management expert, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to permit registered voters to cast their ballots without their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).

With less than 100 days to the elections in 2023, he said that 9.3 million uncollected PVCs remained in INEC offices around the federation.

In his statement, qualified voters merely had to visit the polling places, get scanned, and cast their ballots because the commission had embraced biometric voting.

Utomi added that the request may be made in light of the low PVC collection rates yesterday during a PVC collecting advocacy walk to the INEC offices in Abuja.

He said the rate of uncollected PVCs which still stands at about 9.3 million can be described as a national emergency that needed urgent attention.

Utomi, who spoke on behalf of the organizers of the event, (The Big Tent) said: “Secondly, we want them to understand that the process that they have embarked on is a biometric process. In fact, one does not need PVC to vote because one has been captured already. One’s biometrics is in the system. If one shows up on Election Day without any PVC and one’s fingerprint and face are scanned, one should be able to say that he or she is registered.

“We say it is the duty of INEC to do everything possible to decentralise the collection of PVCs and ensure that everybody who is registered gets their PVCs. We think it is not acceptable for Nigerians to be disenfranchised. If INEC needs help to make sure that the PVCs get to their rightful owners, we are ready to volunteer.”

However, the INEC Chief Press Secretary Rotimi Oyekanmi, who reacted to the request mentioned that voting through PVCs is backed by law.

Oyekanmi explained that “The procedure for accreditation and voting in an election is captured under Sections 47(1), (2), and (3) of the Election Act 2022.

“Therefore, there is no way that a voter can be allowed to vote without his or her PVC. There are no two ways about it.”

The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Kelechi Maduneme, who received the group after the walk appealed to voters to get their PVCs because it was the duty of the commission to carry out PVC distribution.

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