PVCs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has handed over some of its staff caught extorting potential voters before attending to them at registration centres.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, said this in a phone call in during the Sunrise Daily programme of Channels Television on Saturday.

INEC has moved Mr Igini to Bayelsa as the new REC for the state.

The general election kicks off on Saturday with the presidential and National Assembly polls.

Recall complaints from Nigerians over the difficulties they encountered in trying to collect their permanent voters cards (PVCs).

INEC on Friday extended the deadline for the collection of the PVCs by three days to Monday, five days before the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 12.

Mr Igini confirmed the reports from Nigerians about the conducts of some INEC officials during the registration and collection process.

He said some of the staff and alleged staff had been arrested.

Mr Igini said various method will be adopted to ensure the elections are free and fair.

“You are not expected to use any electronic device from the point where you collect your ballot paper to the cubicle,” he said.

He said the aim of banning the use of photographic devices is to discourage vote buying.

“We have to deal with vote buying which has become a major challenge in recent times,” the INEC chief said

He said no new polling unit was created and that voting points will be available for easy accreditation and voting.

Also, he said ballot papers have not been delivered because it is at the last stage of processing that this would be done.

“We had to do a review about the election timetable, we cautiously followed it. ”

He lamented the attitude of the political class in allegedly not wanting free and fair elections.

“A voter will only vote where he is registered,” he said.

Mr Igini said every patriotic Nigerian is expected to vote in the general election, describing it is an important election in the history of Nigeria.

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