PVCs Collection Still A Concern

PVCs Collection Still A Concern

Given the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s postulation, the collection of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, by voters would have reached its peak as the elections are just days away.

Notwithstanding the essence of the document as in furtherance of the upcoming elections, many Nigerians were yet to collect their few days to the collection of the PVCs as various reasons were adduced for the poor response.     

The PVC collection which started on December 12, 2022 came with mixed reactions. Some Nigerians who go out daily to the various distribution centers within the nation’s capital Abuja and beyond to retrieve their PVCs have various tales to tell; some pleasant, others unpalatable.

Many residents successfully collected their PVCs from the area’s council offices when the exercise first started until it was recently moved to the ward level for collection. It was believed that with this development, more people would be able to collect their PVCs.

Given that the collection is now at the various ward levels, more complaints of people not being able to retrieve their PVCs despite completing their registration early or changing their details as the case may still abound.

INEC had earlier announced that the collection of PVCs would commence as scheduled. The commission’s National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, had noted that the exercise would take effect as planned.

 He added that the collection of the PVCs would be devolved to the ward level after which collection would be moved to the local government areas.

Underlying the essence of the PVC, an advertorial by the International Press Centre recently, funded by the European Union, Nigerians were urged to collect their PVCs.

In response to the outcry from Nigerians, the commission, however, on Thursday extended the deadline for PVC collection until Sunday, January 29, 2023.

We call on INEC officials to be up to their task by arriving at collection centres in good time so as to effectively deal with the large crowds that throng the collection venues daily.

However, the INEC recently shed more light on why some states were recording low turnout for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards since the commencement of the exercise.

The commission also stated that out of the 93,469,008 registered voters for the 2023 general election, women voters constituted 44,414846 or 48%, while men constituted 49,054162 or 52%. The youths (18-35) constituted 37,060,399 or 40%.

According to the commission, most of the states with low PVCs collection rates were states where off-season governorship elections were conducted.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman ,Outreach and Partnership Committee, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, stated this in an interview with journalists during the commission’s dialogue with Nigerian Women Groups and Candidates, organized by the International Foundation for Electoral Support with the theme, “2023 general elections: Women’s participation in PVC collection and election day processes”.

He said that apathy towards the collection of the PVCs were only noticeable in states where off-season governorship election took place including Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun States.

Ajayi said a reasonable number of registered voters residing in the listed states had collected their PVCs before the governorship elections were conducted.

The INEC National Commissioner also blamed the ‘culture’ for the last-minute rush for the current situation.

The INEC Commissioner, however, stressed the need for women to translate the data into actual reality and voting force, maintaining that women need to rise above all socioeconomic and political factors militating against them.

While expressing concern that insecurity and culture in some parts of the country might contribute to voter apathy, she observed that INEC had put in place measures that would ensure that women are not disenfranchised on Election Day.

We align our thoughts with the INEC which has identified that where culture would not allow women to come out and mingle with men, they should have the priority to have separate queues and women that are not nursing or elderly people should have priority to come to the front and be able to vote. Those could pose challenges for women in voting even in the collection of their PVC.

Indeed, we commend the commission for extending the deadline for PVC collection so as to enable more Nigerians to access their cards.  

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2023 Elections

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