The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, on Wednesday, said it had relieved two members of a community it engaged for the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) of their assignment.

This was contained in a statement signed by Femi Akinbiyi, the commission’s Head of Public Affairs in the state.

It said the two persons were found to have denied a few non-indigenes the chance to collect their cards in the state.

The statement said: “The records we have at our disposal, and they are available for all to see, indicate that Lagosians of different ethnic backgrounds have been coming forward to collect their cards.

“To be sure, the bulk of the ad hoc staff engaged for the distribution exercise are NYSC members who come from different ethnic backgrounds.

“With such diverse backgrounds, among whom a substantial number of them are non-indigenes, it is most unlikely that they would embark on discriminating against non indigenes like themselves.

“Our findings, however, revealed that in few places where we did not have the full complement of NYSC members, some members of the community, whom we engaged for the exercise, two of them were found to have denied a few non-indigenes the collection of their cards.

“We have consequently relieved them of this assignment.”

The statement said INEC regretted whatever embarrassment the incident might have caused the affected members of the public.

It thanked those who drew the commission’s attention to the act.

It added: “We are by this press release stating that no INEC official, permanent or ad hoc, has been engaged to give cards to people from only one part of the country while denying others their legitimate right of collecting their cards.

“All INEC staff are under firm instructions to give the PVCs to their rightful owners.”

According to the statement, no money is to be demanded or given in doing so.

It urged the public to be vigilant and assist the commission in drawing its attention to any breach of its guidelines by anyone, including its staff members.

The statement said the distribution of the PVCs would continue at the 20 local government offices of the commission in the state till March 8.

It urged those who had not collected theirs to avail themselves of this extension to collect their PVCs.