The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that over 14,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have been snatched by hoodlums from its officials during the collection exercise in Rivers State.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs Gesila Khan, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, on Friday.
According to Khan, some of the cards were stolen from collection centres in some local government areas, where the PVCs were deposited to enable the owners have easy access to them.
While it would mean that the owners would be disenfranchised, Khan expressed no panic, as she noted that the stolen cards would be useless. The card reader system would be used to authenticate and verify the real owner of the PVCs before they are allowed to vote.
Khan also disclosed that her office received 2,990,056 PVCs, out of which 1,869,379 had been distributed to eligible voters in the state.
She assured that more than 50,000 additional PVCs would be distributed two weeks before the general election, adding that over 80 percent of the registered voters in the state had so far collected their cards.
Khan also assured that the February elections would be peaceful because of the existing cooperation among INEC officials, police and other security agencies in the state.