The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it had distributed over 672,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Ogun.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Timothy Ibitoye, said this in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, during a visit to Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.
Ibitoye said the figure represented 50 per cent of the 1.22 million cards received for the registered voters in the state.
He said eligible voters yet to obtain their cards should be patient as the commission would distribute the outstanding cards before February 14.
Ibitoye, however, warned that the commission would insist on its policy of “no PVC, no voting.”
He said smartcard readers would be used at the general elections for accreditation of voters, adding that no one should be seen with more than one card.
“The introduction of the smartcard reader by the commission is a new initiative to ensure that the exercise is free, fair and credible.
“If the card you are holding belongs to INEC, it will read it and tell you that you have a genuine card.
“I can assure you that the system will only be able to read cards generated by INEC and exposes any fraudulent scheme, especially cloned cards,” Ibitoye said.
He said the success of the polls was everyone’s responsibility, adding, “I want to use the opportunity to appeal to our traditional leaders to help us maintain peace at the polls.
“Our Obas should help us to appeal to their people to go and collect their cards being made available as we speak.
“INEC is not planning to disenfranchise anybody and we shall distribute the outstanding cards before the commencement of the elections by God’s grace.
“February 14 and 28 dates are sacrosanct and I want to assure you that the exercise will be free, fair and credible,” Ibitoye said.
Responding, Adetona appealed to politicians and their supporters to strictly abide by the electoral law.
He said the success of the polls would be determined on how well INEC was able to discharge its duties, particularly the distribution of the voter cards.
“Our prayers, as traditional rulers, are that the elections should be peaceful, free and fair.
“INEC must direct its officers to be honest in the discharge of their duties and must not be compromised,” Adetona said. (NAN)