The Director of Voter Education and Publicity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Victor Aluko, has said the commission extended the Permanent Voter Cards collection deadline to counter fake news.
Aluko said this when he appeared on the Channels TV programme, Politics Today, which our correspondent monitored on Friday
He said there had been reports of staff of the electoral umpire denying some members of the public their PVCs on grounds of ethnicity, adding that such stories were not true, even as he encouraged citizens to take advantage of the deadline to collect their PVCs.
The INEC official said, “Well, what is giving us concern, is this type of fake news. This type of fake news about, you know, some people inputting ethnicity, in terms of distribution.
“You hear stories about how certain persons were not being given PVCs, maybe because of ethnicity. You have stories of how maybe some officials are collecting money.
“And all these stories are not really true, and when people hear these, of course, it erodes the trust people have in us, and so we are concerned about such negative stories, and we’re encouraging people to please ignore those stories and take advantage of this extension and collect their PVCs.”
Aluko also denied allegations that some staff of the commission were colluding with politicians to prevent some persons from collecting their PVCs, adding that any staff caught in acts of collusion would be prosecuted.
“Personally, I don’t believe so. I do not believe that anybody is colluding with anyone to prevent Nigerians from collecting their PVCs. We thank Nigerians for trusting us and believing in us. And the stand of the Commission is that any of our staff that is found to have done such a thing, would be punished, would be duly punished, and even prosecuted, because it is against the law to deny eligible persons from collecting their PVCs.
That is obstruction, and any staff that is found to have done such a thing will be punished. I want to encourage the people; if anyone sees any staff doing such a thing, please report them, and the Commission will not sweep it under the carpet. Such a staff in any part of the country will be punished, I assure you,” he said.