A message has been circulating on WhatsApp suggesting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials are insisting that people thumbprint before they are issued their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs).
The message in circulation with a caveat ‘forwarded many times’ reads, “Announcement Announcement Announcement
Please when you are collecting your PVC card don’t thumbprint. If INEC officials ask you to thumbprint kindly refuse, this information is critical. Please share this message. Thank you.”
Another comment in one of the groups the message was shared reads, “INEC has to release an official statement in this regard. I was asked to thumbprint which I did. You don’t expect me to start arguing with an INEC official when there is no official statement countering it.”
But the author of the first message in circulation did not say whether it was a personal experience or show any evidence to back up the claim.
Similarly, other messages have surfaced in the past accusing INEC officials of either stealing voter’s cards or the Voter Identification Number (VIN).
A recent claim was a video showing a group of people sorting out the PVCs that were shared on Twitter accusing INEC of recruiting others to do their dirty work.
Meanwhile, all those claims were shared to suit a narrative as they were all found to be false or misleading.
Verification: In verifying the claim, fact-checkers at Daily Trust visited the INEC official website to check for any possible update but found no such information.
Further investigation led this paper to speak with the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
He noted that those circulating the messages were “fifth columnists and purveyors of fake news as there was no such development from the commission”.
He stressed that the message did not emanate from the commission.
A fifth columnist is a member of a group of people who support the enemies of the country they live in and secretly help them.
However, INEC noted that only those who registered in the just concluded registration process are eligible to collect a PVC, and all they need to do is visit the INEC LGA office they registered or transferred to and present the printout given to them at the point of registration containing all necessary information of the intending voter with no thumbprint required.
As well all know, the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is like a meal ticket, without it there’s no voting.
Interestingly, the collection of the PVC has been made easy by the commission as their offices are currently open every day from 9am to 3pm, including Saturdays and Sundays, which kicked off on December 12, 2022, to end on January 22, 2023.
Also, the commission has made its process transparent, giving every eligible citizen the right to voter information to avoid any form of misinformation or fake news circulating.
Conclusion: Based on available information, Trust Check can confirm that the message in circulation is false and intended to mislead.
Leave a Reply