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INEC: With 86 days to polls, our ability to keep replacing destroyed materials limited

INEC: With 86 days to polls, our ability to keep replacing destroyed materials limited
November 30
21:13 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there’s a limit to its ability to keep replacing destroyed election materials before the 2023 polls.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this on Wednesday at an induction retreat for new resident electoral commissioners (INEC) in Lagos.

In recent weeks, INEC offices in Osun, Ogun, and Ebonyi were set ablaze, with thousands of permanent voter cards (PVCs), ballot boxes, and other election materials destroyed.

Yakubu said these attacks must stop and that the perpetrators must be apprehended.

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“In the last four months, five local government area offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons. Buildings have been destroyed and materials lost in Udenu and Igboeze north local areas of Enugu state, Abeokuta south local government of Ogun state, Ede south local government area of Osun state and, most recently, in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state,” he said.

“In these mindless attacks, a total of 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators, and thousand of uncollected PVCs were, among other materials, destroyed.

“I want to reassure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks. The lost materials will be replaced, but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing wantonly destroyed materials with just 86 days to the general election.

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“The security agencies, traditional and community leaders, and all well-meaning Nigerians should continue to support the commission to stop the attacks, but the ultimate solution is arrest and prosecution so that vandals and arsonists do not feel that bad behaviour is an acceptable conduct in our country.”

The INEC chairman also addressed a statement shared online that people can vote in the elections without the voter’s card.

He said this statement is false, adding that a citizen must be a registered voter issued with a PVC to be able to vote.

“The commission has consistently maintained the policy of “no PVC, no voting”. Nothing has changed. It is a legal requirement and doing otherwise will be a violation of the law,” he said.

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“I appeal to Nigerians to ignore any suggestion to the contrary. For the avoidance of doubt, section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that a person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a presiding officer for accreditation at the polling unit in the constituency in which his name is registered.

“Therefore, the position of the law is clear. The PVC remains a mandatory requirement for voting during elections.”

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