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Voter Registration Surge: Stakeholders worried over January collection date for new PVCs

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 Voter Registration Surge Stakeholders worried over January collection date for new PVCs

Stakeholders in the electoral process, including the Civil Society Organisations, have expressed worry at the fixing of January by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the collection of the new Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

INEC had informed Nigerians carrying out voter registration that they will not be able to obtain their PVCs until January next year.

The comment, which has generated several reactions, is seen by some people as a ploy to disenfranchise them in the 2023 general elections which commences in February 2022.

Specifically, CSOs have opposed the January deadline for the collection of the new PVCs, saying it is too close to the 2023 general elections.

The CSOs said INEC must ensure that people who registered this year get their PVCs before December 1, 2022, expressing concern that once it is January there will not be effective distribution of the voter cards.

The CSOs who spoke to LEADERSHIP are Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) Transparency International (TI) and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).

Speaking through their leader, Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, the CSOs said INEC must improve its efficiency.

He said, “How will you register people and say their cards will be ready in six months?

“Why are we prolonging this? INEC has been given all the necessary financial support to be able to do the needful.

“If they said that until January for people who are registering now to be able to collect their PVC, they are already creating pandemonium in the lives of Nigerians. I think INEC should ensure that any Nigerian that registers must get their PVC before January, ” Rafsanjani said.

According to the CSOs, “With this court pronouncement that INEC cannot stop the registration process now, I think it is important for INEC to ensure that all these do not affect the election as scheduled.

“INEC must ensure that the election is not postponed. We don’t want any further delay. INEC must ensure that PVCs of people registering now are ready before January.”

Meanwhile, the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) , an umbrella body of all political parties in Nigeria, has said that the electoral umpire might not be working for certain interests and encourage Nigerians to get ready to collect their PVCs whenever they are ready.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP last night, the chairman of IPAC, Yabagi Sani, urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to maintain the momentum and ensure that they vote in the 2023 general elections.

 

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