The Independent National Electoral Commission, yesterday December 7, 2022, denied that a viral video showing its staff entering Voter Identification Numbers into cell phones, was part of plans to rig the 2023 general election to preferred candidates.
INEC said the picture painted by the video circulating was not the true picture.
The troubling video showed some INEC staff at the FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Office, Lagos, extracting the VIN from permanent voter cards and entering the same into their cellphones.
While praising the alertness of Nigerians, Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the conclusion in the video that the VIN were been harvested for the purpose of undermining the 2023 general election wasn’t true.
The statement explained that, what was seen in the video was “only part of an inventory of uncollected cards.”
Okoye added that “…in its determination to enhance the rate of collection of the PVCs, the Commission decided to establish a PVC collection process that includes an online component.
“The procedure entails that registered voters with access to the Internet could go to a dedicated portal to ascertain whether their PVCs are ready and to find their locations for subsequent collection.
“All they are required to do is to provide their details such as name, date of birth, state of registration or the last six digits of the VINs that they provided/received during registration, to locate their cards. This would improve the PVC collection process, but without prejudice to those who wish to go directly to the collection centres.
“For the newer PVCs, that is, those from the Continuous Voter Registration that took place between January and July 2022, the VINs were harvested automatically and made available online.
“However, for the older uncollected PVCs that predate the new guidelines, their VINs must be harvested manually and painstakingly for upload to the PVC collection portal. The portal will also improve the records of the Commission regarding collected and uncollected PVCs.
“While the Commission appreciates the vigilance of Nigerians and their determination to see the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in 2023, it is exceedingly important that information such as contained in the said video is verified before sharing it with the public.”
Within the past 48 hours, videos have gone viral on social media showing some group of persons copying information from PVCs onto their mobile phones.
Expectedly, concerned Nigerians cried out, claiming that INEC was working ahead to rig the 2023 elections.