…As PAY vows to kill voter apathy
By Steve Oko
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has cleared the air over the on-going distribution of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs in Abia State, denying allegations that the commission has been making the exercise cumbersome for voters.
Head, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Abia State, Mrs Rebecca Jimmy who made the clarification in Umuahia during a workshop by Progressive Abia Youths, PAY, on PVC collection, said collection of PVCs for voters who registered between 2011 and December 2021 was going on smoothly in all INEC offices across the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.
She, however, said that the PVCs of voters who registered during the just-concluded Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise between January and July 2022, were still being printed, adding that distribution will commence as soon as they are ready.
The INEC Spokesperson who was responding to allegations in some quarters that INEC staff were making the collection of PVCs difficult for voters, said there was no iota of truth in the allegation.
She commended PAY for its continued support in creating awareness among the Abia voting public which she noted, responsible for the increase in the number of voters who came for registration in the just-concluded CVR exercise.
Speaking at the one-day event, the President General of the Non Governmental Organization, NGO, Comrade Kingsley Ekejiuba, vowed that the group would end voter apathy in the state.
He said that their objective was to mobilize Abia youths for aggressive mass sensitisation of Abia voters for collection of their PVCs, and active participation during the 2023 polls.
Ekejiuba who decried voter apathy especially among Nigerian youths said his organisation with its partners had determined to mobilize at least 75 per cet of voters for active participation in the 2023 general elections.
” We want to kill voter apathy in Nigeria. Statistics from INEC shows only about 35% of voters participated in the 2019 elections, but in 2023 we are targeting 75%”.
Ekejiuba said the group had started mobilisation of Abia youths to move to the hinter lands and sensitive the locals on the need to collect their PVCs, adding that part of their goal is to assist INEC in bringing the PVCs closer to the locals.
He disclosed that the group assisted in mobilizing about 74,000 voters during the CVR exercise, and promised to sensitise more voters ahead of the forthcoming elections.
The PAY President who said that Nigerian youths had risen to take back their country, enjoined all eligible voters to prioritize the 2023 polls, and shun any temptation to compromise them.