By NBF News

Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), yesterday, urged voters not to give out their Voter's Identification Number (VIN) to anybody under whatever guise, warning that such disclosure could shut them out of the voting exercise beginning this Saturday.

Belgore, a Muslim who hails from Kwara Central, also dismissed as sheer mischief and height of political desperation rumour that his running mate is also Muslim. Belgore's running mate is Mr. Joshua Adeyinka, a Christian from Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara South.

Belgore's spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, said in a statement issued in Ilorin that some politicians from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were asking the unwary voters to give them their VIN as a requisite to collect mosquito nets, just a few days to the general election.

The statement reads: 'This is to alert fellow Kwarans, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the plot by a political party to persuade unwary voters to give out their Voter's Identification Number (VIN) to identify themselves before collecting treated mosquito nets.

'Reports available to us indicate that officials of this party have perfected the plot to use such VIN, which is the most important feature of the card, to reproduce these cards thereby disenfranchising as many people as possible.

The implication of this is that voters whose VIN numbers have been pirated would have to contend with persons holding counterfeit cards bearing the same number. This will also cause confusion on election day as different persons would have to struggle to prove authenticity or authentic ownership of the cards.

'We therefore urge our people not to release their VIN to anybody, guard their voter's card jealously and report anybody asking them for it to the appropriate security agencies and relevant civil society organisations working on the integrity of the ballot. We are alarmed at the desperation and undemocratic tendencies of this shameless political party and its officials who are clearly jittery about the verdict of doom about to be delivered in April on their poor showings these past years.

'We condemn these undemocratic antics of these politicians, which also include violent infiltration of rallies of opposition parties, in a devilish bid to call the dog a bad name as an alibi to hang it and wily attempt to disenfranchise many people, especially the students by stage-managing the closure of their schools during the voting period even when they registered in the school.

'For instance, the students of Kwara State Polytechnic were supposed to have resumed two weeks ago but were asked to stay at home till after the poll. We are aware of similar attempts to send other students home. The question any right-thinking person will ask is, what are these individuals afraid of when they claim to have done resoundingly well? While we know that Kwara people are wise and know who their friends or enemies truly are, we urge them to be more vigilant as the election day approaches because eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.'