From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
As the general election gather momentum, three persons have been arrested for mass purchase of permanent voter cards PVCs from different voters in Niger state even as buying of voter’s card has been reported.
Report has it that the three persons were arrested in kagara Rafi local government area in possession of the PVCs they allegedly purchased from villages in preparation for the February elections.
Investigation revealed that the men who were arrested over the weekend are members of one of the leading political parties in the state and were alleged to be buying the cards between N10, 000 and N20, 000.
According to a source, the practice is a common attitude of most local government areas in Niger state and where it is difficult to buy, the PVCs meant for those communities were hijacked forcefully without the knowledge of individuals.
The source further intimated that “for instance at Kutiriko village in Agaie local government area of the state, there are allegations of a candidate of a political party, threatened to confiscate the PVC of the people who are not ready to support his political party, and freely allowed those identified to be his supporters to collect their cards”
Consequently, the situation nearly causes, crisis as the said member of a political party allegedly made it difficult the process of continuous voter’s registration, allowing only their supporters to be registered even as they disallowed those who are not their supporters from registering despite their plight over the period they were staying on the queue.
Investigation revealed that those arrested in Rafi Local government with the cards were transferred to the Niger state police criminal investigation department for further interrogation and investigation.
The Niger state Police Public Relation officer, ASP Ibrahim Abiodun Gambari confirmed the arrest of the three persons in Kalgara with large number of PVCs of prospective voters but noted that he cannot comment further until after the completion of investigation.