In a viral video, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a presidential candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s national leader, said that voters would need to revalidate their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) in order to vote in the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu would make such a claim for the second time in three months, prompting a reaction from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Tinubu made the current remark while speaking to supporters during a rally in favour of his presidential bid on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, APC National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel, and youth leaders from South-western states were among those who attended the occasion.
While urging those who have not registered to do so, the former Lagos State governor advised his audience to go and revalidate their PVCs, citing the possibility that the cards had expired.
“If you don’t have a PVC, and you don’t have a revalidation of that PVC, you don’t know whether it has expired,” he explained. Remember that your cashpoint card has an expiry date, so go ahead and revalidate it. Those of you who have not yet registered are required to go there. For God’s sake, you can’t be one of 1.4 billion users on Instagram and not have a card.”
Earlier on Monday, a video broadcast by one of the major newspapers (not Daily Trust) on its verified Instagram profile had 37,864 views and 1,565 likes.
Tinubu claimed that PVCs now in the possession of Nigerians had expired when speaking to a delegation of APC women who paid him a visit in Abuja a few months ago, forcing INEC to refute the assertion.
While debunking the claim, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, stated that PVC is legitimate as long as it is not defaced, and that double registration is an offence under the law.
“Because PVC does not have an expiry date, it does not expire.” It is still valid as long as the security chip on it is not broken. “However, if the chip is broken, the holder can ask for a replacement,” Oyekanmi explained.
“Nigerians who already have PVCs do not need to re-register.” In fact, under our rules, double registration is a crime.
“Eligible Nigerians are only permitted to register once.” Once a name appears on the national voter registration list, it remains there indefinitely.
“One of the very rare times a name might be removed off the registry is if there is compelling and verifiable confirmation that the individual wearing the name has died,” he noted.
Tinubu later apologised in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Tunde Rahman.
In a message obtained from the INEC website, the Commission’s Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, stated that registered voters could renew their PVCs during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise if their cards were lost or defaced.
A defaced card indicates that the information printed on it has been wiped away or that the security chip has been broken.
In addition, unlike ATM cards, which have expiry dates printed on them, a check at both the front and back of a PVC card reveals that it does not contain an expiry date.
CONCLUSION: Tinubu’s assertion that PVCs have an expiry date is untrue and should be ignored.