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ICYMI: Politicians buying PVCs with N2000 in the north, NEF alleges

ICYMI: Politicians buying PVCs with N2000 in the north, NEF alleges
December 16
07:38 2022

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has alleged that some politicians are buying permanent voter cards (PVCs) with N2,000 in the north.

In a statement on Wednesday, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF spokesperson, said the move is an attempt to reduce the voting power of northerners.

Baba-Ahmed said people involved in the practice of buying PVCs are working for different parties who target communities where their candidates have comparative advantages or disadvantages.

“Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has confirmed what the public has been aware of in the last few weeks. This is the widespread and targeted buying of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in many parts of the North and a few other parts of Nigeria,” the statement reads.

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“Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had followed this worrying phenomenon, advising community leaders and major stakeholders on the dangers of disenfranchising large numbers of citizens.

“We have also undertaken our own investigations, which prompt this public warning.

“Thousands, or possibly even millions of Northern voters, particularly women, are being made to surrender their PVCs for a pittance, in most instances not more than N2000 Naira. In some instances, they are told their cards will be returned to them after they are processed for additional payments as poverty relief. No cards are returned.

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“Our investigations suggest that this an aggressive and blatant voter suppression attempt to reduce the voting powers of the North.

“We have been assured by INEC that this practice in itself will not compromise its systems and processes.

“People who are involved in this practice appear to be working for different parties, but they target communities where they assume their parties or candidates have comparative advantages or disadvantages.

“To sell your card now, or sell your vote in next year’s elections is to betray your responsibility to improving our circumstances and future.

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“Every Northerner should know that our voting population and turnout during elections are the only powers we have left, but we can use them to affect who will lead us at the next elections.

“Voters from other parts of the country are jealously guarding their voting opportunities. Our relative poverty now is no excuse to surrender the opportunity to improve our future.”

The NEF called on INEC to “intensify its public awareness campaign against this dangerous threat”.

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