Eligible voters in this year’s general elections in Isiala Ngwa South LGA of Abia State whose Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were burnt as a result of the arson at the Isiala Ngwa council office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) penultimate Sunday will now have cause to smile as the burnt PVCs have now been electronically corrected and can be accepted by card readers.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Joseph Iloh, who disclosed this in Umuahia, explained that the burnt PVCs were taken to INEC’s electronic system where they were corrected, thus giving them the legitimacy for the card readers to accept them as useful PVCs.
Iloh submitted that the hoodlums who jumped into the INEC office at Isiala Ngwa South and set the rooms housing the PVCs and voters’ registers ablaze taught that they had succeeded in their heinous acts, but expressed joy that their of disfranchising some people had eventually felt.
It will be recalled that the Isiala Ngwa South office of the electoral body was burnt down at early hour Sunday, February 3, 2019 by arsonists who set a section of the office housing the PVCs and voters’ registers ablaze, thus damaging some of them.
However, in his reaction, the REC insisted that no form of intimidation and harassment of its personnel by politicians will debar the commission from conducting credible, free and fair elections in the state, adding that contrary to the speculation that over 14,000 PVCs were burnt, it was on 319 of them were damaged by the fire.
Speaking on the readiness of the commission to ensure a hitch free exercise, Iloh revealed that the Abia headquarters of the commission had briefed all relevant agencies and election stakeholders on what to do during and after the exercise.
He added that the state headquarters of INEC had collected some sensitive and non-sensitive materials from its national headquarters at Abuja for the forthcoming elections, adding that the Umuahia office of the INEC was ready to conduct credible, free and fair polls in Abia State.
He explained that the commission has acquired 17 electoral vans and built into them tracking devices, explaining that the purpose of the tracking device is to monitor their movements within the state during the elections as they would be used to convey sensitive and non-sensitive materials.