Six governorship candidates in Ebonyi State in the 2023 elections have appealed to security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the alleged buying of permanent voter cards (PVCs) by a political party in the state.
They pleaded with the electoral body and the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book to serve as deterrence to others.
The candidates described as “shameful, unconstitutional and unacceptable” the allegation that the agents of the political party in the state had been deployed to different parts of the state to induce voters to illegally dispossess them of their PVCs ahead of the election.
The statement was jointly signed by Engr. Chukwuma Nwandugo, governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA), Professor Benard Odoh of All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Edward Nkwegu, Labour Party (LP), Prophet Adol Awam, New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii of the People’s Democratic Part (PDP) and Engr. Sunday Opoke of the Young People’s Party (YPP).
The candidates alleged that the illicit act of offering owners of the said PVCs some cash ranging from N5, 000 to N10, 000 each to the prospective voters, promising them that they would be included in subsequent state government’s empowerment programmes is most regrettable.
They stated that the agents allegedly copy the VIN numbers of other voters adding that the act is punishable offence under Section 22(a)(b) and (c) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“We condemn in very strong terms this show of shame and undemocratic venture as it is quite ridiculous and a desperation taken too far by those seeking power at all costs.”