A presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress(APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, claimed on Tuesday, January 18, that the current Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have expired.
In a video shared on Twitter, Tinubu says:
“In case they do not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired."
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The former governor of Lagos state further alleged that the number of voters in previous elections has been “diminishing” owing to the expiration of PVCs.
He, therefore, asked his guests and eligible Nigerians to obtain new PVCs.
Is Tinubu's claim true?
The PVC is a smart card which enables registered voters exercise their civic right to vote in the General Elections.
It stores information such as biometric data i.e. physical attributes, thumbprint, etc., according to INEC.
Unlike the ATM cards issued by Nigerian banks, the PVC does not have an expiry date. However, eligible registered voters could apply for a replacement if their PVCs were lost or damaged.
INEC chairman's aides react
Also interrogating Tinubu's claim, The Cable cited Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, as saying that the PVC is valid as long as it is not defaced.
Oyakanmi added that double registration is an offence under the law.
“A PVC does not have an expiry date on it, therefore, it does not expire. As long as the security chip on it is not damaged, it remains valid. But if the chip is damaged, the holder can apply for a replacement.
“Nigerians who already have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) do not need to register again. In fact, double registration is an offence under our laws.
“Eligible Nigerians are entitled to register only once. Once a name appears in the national register of voters, it stays there permanently.
“One of the very few instances where a name could be removed from the register is if there is strong and verifiable proof that the person bearing the name has died.”
Also reacting, the chief technical adviser to the INEC chairman, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, said those who have registered for election do not need to do so again because their cards are valid for future elections, Daily Trust stated.
Eyinla warned those who have registered against doing so again, reiterating that the PVCs issued in recent years remain valid for all elections being conducted.
“This information (Tinubu's claim) is not correct. The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains valid.
"This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations."
Considering the available verified information, the claim by Tinubu that the current PVCs have expired is misleading.
2023: If elected president, WASSCE fees would be paid for every Nigerian child - Tinubu
In another report, Tinubu has promised to pay the West African Senior School Certificate Examination fees for every Nigerian child if he is elected president.
The APC chieftain made the statement in a video shared by The Cable on Wednesday, January 19.
“Your children's West African examination fees will be paid by us, so that no one, no matter how poor, will be left behind."