- Millions of Nigerians are yet to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs)
- The federal government has been urged by Senator Oluremi Tinubu to declare public holiday for people to be able to go get their PVCs
- She called on INEC to ensure that it had adequate resources to make the process quick and easy
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the senator representing Lagos Central senatorial district on Sunday, May 6, urged the federal government to declare public holidays for collection of PVCs, ahead of the December 2018 deadline.
Oluremi, in a statement in Lagos, said that the PVCs were the tools to participating in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, urging residents in the state to ensure that they collect theirs.
The call sequel to revelations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that over seven million PVCs were yet to be collected nationwide, with one million and four hundred thousand from Lagos state.
Prior to the 2015 elections, INEC had introduced the use of smart card readers. This has necessitated issuance of PVCs as part of the identification and authentication process. After the 2015 elections, about 12 million PVCs had remained in the electoral body’s custody.
“With previous elections, Nigerians developed voter apathy due to a distrust of the system.
“The 2015 elections taught us, however, that as individuals, our votes count. Thus, we must rise up as citizens to fulfill our civic responsibility and ensure accountability in governance,” she said.
Towards the 2019 elections, INEC had released modalities for ongoing continuous voter registration. The centres open from 9am to 3pm daily.
Tinubu pleaded that the period should be extended; and should include weekends to allow people who were unable to visit the centres during work hours to do so at weekends. She said INEC should ensure that it had adequate resources to make the process quick and easy.
She also called for increased voter education and sensitisation to achieve the desire results.
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Meanwhile, an election observer group, the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has faulted the failure of political parties in the country to participate in the process of cleaning up of voters register since 2011.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, ISDMG executive director, Dr Chima Amadi, said following an FOI inquiry to INEC, it discovered that even though the commission has been complying with the provision of the Electoral Act and making voters register available to political parties, none of the political parties or individuals have bothered to verify it.
According to him, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in Section 10 (3) provided that the commission shall, within 60 days after each year, make available to every political party the names and addresses of each person registered during the year.
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