A social political group, Voters Rights Agenda (VRA), has raised the alarm, that agents of a political party were buying up Permeant Voters Card (PVC) ahead September 10 governorship election in Edo State.
The group said it uncovered the scam, when some drivers complained that Edo Drivers’ Welfare Union asked all commercial drivers in Benin to submit their Permanent Voters Card to their various park Chairmen.
When asked what they intended to do with the cards, they were told that they were interested in writing down the serial numbers of their cards and thereafter return them.
The drivers were said to be threatened by the union that failure to produce their cards will result in expulsion from the parks.
Same with market women, artisans and other unions in the state.
However, VRA in a statement in Benin, Sunday, called on the Department of State Security (DSS), the Police and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carry out detailed investigation to verify the authenticity of the claim.
The group also advised voters not to submit their voters card to anybody no matter the imtimidation.
The statement entitled: ‘Your PVC is Your Power’ read: “It has come to our notice that agents of a desperate governorship candidate are demanding and collecting Permanent Voters Card (PVC) from market men and women, drivers and artisans in his bid to rig the September 10, 2016 governorship election in the state.
“In the light of this, we wish to remind these ungodly people that their action constitute electoral fraud which is punishable by law.
“We call on the DSS and the Police to arrest and prosecute anyone found selling or buying PVC cards.
“Members of the public are called upon to report anyone that demands for their PVC to the nearest Police Station.
“Your vote is your right to change any government that fails to provide for your comfort and protection”, the statement read in part.
When contacted, Chris Nehikhare, state Publicity Secretary of PDP said he wouldn’t know the authenticity of the claim but advised voters in the state to be careful and vigilant.
He also called on the DSS and Police to carry out through investigation into the matter.
“I advise voters to be careful and vigilant, they should not sell their cards under any condition.
“I call on the DSS and Police to carry out thorough investigation to determine whether the claim is true or not. I advise the security agencies to expose the culprits behind the scam if found to be true”, Nehikhare said.
APC state Publicity Secretary, Godwin Erhahon, did not pick calls put through to his mobile line as of the time of filing this report.