The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the allegation that it was releasing unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to governors who belong to the ruling party All Progressives Congress.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, had in Osogbo on Tuesday, while addressing a rally held by the party, accused INEC of secretly releasing unclaimed PVCs to some unnamed APC governors.

However, while addressing representatives of political parties in Osun state at an interactive session, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state,  Segun Agbaje, said the commission would never release PVCs to anyone or group illegally.

Although Agbaje did not mention Atiku’s name, he said, “some political parties claimed that INEC was releasing unclaimed PVCs to the APC. That is untrue. INEC will never do that. We don’t give PVCs by proxy. Our interest is free and fair elections and we are working very hard to achieve that. We remain non -partisan.”

Agbaje lamented the desperation by some politicians who wanted to win the election at all costs and urged leaders of political parties to always ensure that their followers allowed peace to reign.

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He said, “The most worrisome among the challenges confronting the commission is the win-at-all-costs attitude of politicians which involves deploying all sorts of illicit means such as vote-buying, use of thugs to disrupt election process, raising of false alarm and dissemination of fake news to whip up unnecessary sentiments.

“If we must get rid of all the wicked forces that have continuously threatened the credibility of our elections in Nigeria, the political class must change to good conduct in politics.”

The REC declared that the PVCs currently in the custody of INEC would be available for collection at registration areas until Monday, January 21.

The INEC boss said a total of 1,254,467 PVCs (75.58%) had been collected, out of 1,681,930 received in the state, leaving a balance of 427,463 PVCs (25.42 per cent) which had yet to be claimed.

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