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EDITORIAL

Discouraging voter apathy via PVC collection

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IT IS disheartening that a good number of eligible voters in Nigeria are yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs)  four weeks to the general elections despite the efforts of the mass media, Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) and governments at all levels to sensitise the citizens on the importance of obtaining their PVCs.

JUST last week, INEC in Anambra State announced that over 316,000 PVCs are yet to be collected in the state and urged the electorate who registered with the commission up till August 31, 2018, to visit  INEC offices for collection of their PVCs.

GOING by what the Head, Voter Education and Publicity of the commission in the state, Mr Leo Nkedife, said while addressing the press on the issue, the commission, yesterday, commenced distribution of uncollected voter cards at the 326 registration centres in the state and the exercise will end on January 21.

THE exercise is aimed at reducing the troubles of logistics of going to INEC LGA offices by bringing the exercise nearer home for people to have no excuse for non collection of the PVCs.

NOTE that the 316,000 uncollected PVCs stated above are in Anambra State alone. Assuming we have the same number or let’s say even more or less in every state of the nation uncollected before the election in a few weeks, would we boast that the election is devoid of apathy?

UNFORTUNATELY, the large scale apathy in collection of PVCs in most parts of the country, particularly the South East geopolitical zone where Anambra State belongs appears to be a deliberate effort to commit political suicide.

THIS is because the PVC is the only electoral weapon citizens or residents use to elect their choice candidates to represent them at any level of government.

APART from exercising voting rights, it is well known that the political relevance of any geopolitical zone or group are often determined by the cumulative votes obtained from the area, even as the voting population of a region in Nigeria is often compared with demography in the national census figure for rough estimation of development indices. It also determines the number of wards to be created in every area ahead of any election.

WE, therefore call on people of the South East to take the issue of PVC collection very serious because the region will go nowhere in politics if it continues with indifference in matters like this.

WE COMMEND INEC in Anambra for the  initiative of taking the exercise closer to the people. While calling on ndi Anmabra who are yet to collect their PVCs to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by INEC to collect their PVCs without much stress, we urge INEC in other states of the zone to emulate the INEC Anambra example.

NATIONAL Light, also urges governments at all levels, particularly in the South East zone, INEC, organized bodies, including town unions, clubs, schools and churches ,among others to help sensitise and mobilize members to go and obtain their PVCs for active participation in the forthcoming general elections, among other things.

IF WE must end the issue of underdevelopment, unemployment and  marginalisation of the zone in political calculations in the country, this is the  time states in the zone should evolve legislations that will make PVC a necessary criteria for admission into schools, banks and all government related transactions since deliberate voter non-cha-lance  has continued to pose serious socio-political disaster for the zone.

 

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