The Independent National Electoral Commission has raised the alarm over the attempts by unscrupulous elements to clone Permanent Voter Cards.
INEC said this in a statement by its Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, on Sunday.
The commission, however, said there was no cause for worry as it was nearly impossible for PVCs to be cloned.
The statement read in part, “INEC has received reports of attempts to clone Permanent Voter Cards and sell them online. We wish to assure the public that the commission had anticipated these and proactively taken measures to preserve and further secure our electoral materials.
“Several security features and secret source codes are contained in the smart card readers which enable them to read only PVCs duly issued by the commission.”
Reacting to pictures online which showed the sale of blank cards bearing a similar look with PVCs, INEC said, “The advertisement shows photographs of blank cards which have not been personalised and which do not contain any details.
“This notwithstanding, the commission wishes to state that it takes these reports seriously and will engage the government and security agencies as well as the promoters of the platform in order to get to the root of it and take all the necessary action to take down the advertisement forthwith.”
The electoral body said the Ekiti State governorship election which takes place in less than two weeks and the Osun State election would be free and fair.
The commission said it would upgrade its software to ensure that only PVCs issued by INEC were recognised.
INEC added, “In addition to the existing features, the commission is already working to further secure the PVCs and the smart card readers and will continue to protect them from unauthorised and malicious access.
“It is for this reason that, beginning from next week, we are commencing the systematic hardware and software upgrade of all the smart card readers nationwide. It is worthy of note that this enhancement had already been successfully done in Ekiti and Osun, preparatory to the upcoming governorship elections in both states.
“We wish to reassure the public that our systems are robust even as we continue to fortify them ahead of the 2019 general elections.”