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Upsurge in PVC registration: CLO seek INEC’s intervention

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By Patricia Osegbue, Juliana Nwachukwu and Chinemerem Okaekwu

CHAIRMAN, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Anambra State, Mr. Vincent Ezekwueme has appealed to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to urgently intervene in the problems encountered by Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) registrants in the South-East, especially in Anambra State.

  He made this call at Onitsha, while talking to Information Officers on the problems of registration of voters in the country in recent times.

  “In the course of monitoring the exercise at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, All Saints Cathedral and other centres of the state, there were no single INEC official and registration materials at the sites early enough to respond to the crowd.

  “In view of this, some prospective registrants have been finding it hard to get registered even where some of them had spent close to three days trying to do so.”

  He decried what he called the unpreparedness of the electoral umpire which has been hampering the good intentions of the government aimed at ensuring that every adult got registered for the 2023 elections.

  “Unfortunately, this has discouraged and is still discouraging law abiding citizens who are willing to obtain their PVCs to enable them exercise their civic duties.

  “I commend the political awareness of Nigerians to participate in the electoral processes hence the inexorable need for INEC to expedite actions and do the needful by deploying more staff, providing adequate registration materials and seeing to the security of the people during the exercise.”

  He urged the INEC leadership to direct its officials to be at registration centres on time and attend to registrants with civility, decorum and respect.

  “Unfortunately, some of these patriotic citizens after wasting hours and days without success went home angrily. This has prevented many from the exercise,” he complained.

  Ezekwueme advised that it would be of great relevance for the heads of the electoral umpire to pay impromptu visits to various registrations centres and INEC local government offices for an on the spot assessment of the problems and difficulties of the registrants, registration centres and the officials.

  The chairman, however, commended INEC for creating additional registration centres, emphasising that more registration centres be created in order to ameliorate the problems encountered by the registrants and to bring registration closer to the people.

  The CLO leader equally appealed to INEC Chairman to use his exalted position to probe alleged intimidation and molestation of voters in some states, saying that such act was a great threat to democracy and democratic evolution.

  Ezekwueme appealed to all citizens to obtain and use their PVC as it is the only legitimate weapon to elect credible leaders and vote out corrupt and selfish leaders.

  He said that if these issues were not resolved and the exercise extended that many citizens would be disfranchised for the 2023 general elections.

  “Let us patriotically, assiduously and collectively enthrone good democratic culture and principles by doing things right, bearing the interest of the citizenry and the country at heart.”

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