The national Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states, Prof. Lai Olurode, has said politicians who have either cloned or bought up the Permanent Voter Cards from registered voters will be disappointed during the forthcoming elections.
The INEC commissioner who allayed the fears of the electorate over the usage of card readers during the coming elections, said the commission introduced the machines with a view to checking counterfeiting and impersonation during the elections.
According to him, we know some people are cloning and mopping up PVCs , we want to assure them that they will be disappointed.
“What we want to do is to screen out illegal cards because a lot of people are cloning, purchasing and selling of the Permanent Voter Cards but it is a waste of time. That is why we need the media presence in this election, the vigilance group. This election requires a lot of human monitoring because it is different from the previous elections, people must be present, parties must educate their people and their agents”, he said .
While speaking on the level of INEC preparedness in the three states, Prof. Olurode claimed that all the materials for the elections had been on ground even before the earlier scheduled date for the Presidential and national assembly elections.
He however, said PVCs collection in Ogun State has witnessed tremendous improvement , saying,it’s collection has hit 59 percent in the state.
Prof. Olurode revealed that currently there are 589, 377 PVCs that are yet to be collected, while a total of 1,053,230 cards have been distributed in the state.
Apologising for the slow pace of distribution of PVC in the state, the national commissioner stated that it was not deliberately caused by the commission.
He, declared that some registered voters may be disenfranchised as he explained that all the outstanding PVCs might not be ready before the elections.
He noted that the Commission is facing challenges with the printing of the cards.
Dismissing the claim of Ogun State government that the remaining uncollected cards were alien cards, Prof. Olurode explained that besides the fact that some owners of the cards had died, he cited the issue of Redeemer’s University which has relocated to Ede, Osun State after the 2011 registration exercise.
He explained that some of the students registered in Ogun State as well as some students of other higher institutions in the state who had graduated.
The national commissioner revealed that the commission randomly called owners of some of the cards only to discover that they had resident in the state while some had died.
Meanwhile, Prof. Olurode declared the technologies being introduced by the commission into the electoral process was meant to reduce if not outright wipe out electoral malpractices with a view to have a free, fair and acceptable elections in the country.
He explained that some categories of people would not be allowed to vote in spite of flaunting a PVC at the polling booth. He listed them as people with fake PVC, people with another person’s original PVC and people who are underaged.
However, the national commissioner explained that there would be three categories of sorting on the election days, saying the ballot box for presidential position which would be in red colour would sorted to see whether any voter had mistakenly dropped the another ballot paper in it.
This would be followed by the black ballot box for the Senate and blue for the House of Representatives.
Thereafter, sorting according to parties would follow and counting and recording of the votes cast.
Nevertheless, Prof. Olurode charged the electorate and parties agents to be vigilant because all the technology transformations were not all-problem-solving.
The commission’s Resident Electoral Commission, Chief Timothy Ibitoye declared that there were no fears in the state regarding the coming elections.