PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (31 January 2015) – Nigeria says over 14,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on distribution to eligible voters for use in the February general elections have been stolen in Rivers State, south-south of the country.
An official of the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mrs Gesila Khan, told reporters in Port Harcourt that over 14,000 cards were stolen from collection centres where they were kept for eligible voters to collect them.
She however said the stolen cards would be useless to the thieves because INEC plans to use card reader system to authenticate and verify card ownership before the holders are allowed to vote.
Rivers State have received 2,990,056 cards, out of which 1,869,379 had been given out to their owners.
This action will further highlight the concern raised in some quarters that many more Nigerians may not vote because they are yet to collect their permanent cards.
The Permanent Voter Cards replaces the Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) issued Nigerians when they registered for voting in 2011 – the temporary cards were used in 2011 general elections, but INEC says only holders of the PVCs will be allowed to vote in 2015 general elections.