#TakeBackNigeria, a socio-political group amplifying the candidacy of Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, for the 2019 presidential election, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review its scheduled time for collection of permanent voter cards (PVCs).
The advice is contained in a statement issued by Adewale Momoh, head, publicity committee of the movement in Ondo state.
The group asked INEC to extend the timing from the current daily 9am – 3pm, to 7am – 6pm, including weekends to enable the full participation of eligible voters.
It also urged the electoral body to engage religious leaders and non-governmental organisations to sensitise people to collect their PVCs ahead of the elections.
Momoh described as alarming, the number PVCs yet to be collected by electorate. He added that it is a concern among Nigerians and as well the #TakeItBackMovement, given the proximity of the elections.
“As alarming as this could be, it is believed that this is not best of times to be weighing the geographical zones with the highest rate of political consciousness,” the statement read.
“But it is imperative to make it a sense of responsibility by every Nigerian to unite in this civic duty at sensitising one another on the procedure of obtaining the PVCs without hassle.
“As a matter of national urgency, where a small fraction had been issued PVCs out of the large number of registered electorate, INEC should intensify efforts at ensuring that electorate come for their PVCs by engaging religious leaders, community heads, CSOs, NGOs etc in the collection drive.
“With a step further, the data of uncollected PVCs should again be display in each of the polling units before the 2019 elections so as to ensure that greater percentage of voters are not disenfranchised.
“Just as the #TakeItBackMovement has been on vigorous awareness campaign and aggressive sensitisation across the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, every eligible voter that desire a working and glorious Nigeria should not at this critical time in the country view the PVCs as a choice but rather as necessity which we owe our dear country as Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, INEC says it will commence the distribution of PVCs to Nigerians who registered during the continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise in 2017.
Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director, voter education and publicity, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
According to the statement, those who applied for transfer or replacement of lost or damaged cards are also eligible to pick up their cards from the said date.
It added that before the 2019 election, the cards will be ready “in good time” for those who had their CVR exercise in 2018.
“The commission met with its Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs on Thursday 10th May 2018 and it was decided that the PVCs for all Nigerians who registered within this period will be ready for collection from Monday 21st May 2018. This also includes those who applied for transfers and replacements of lost or damaged PVCs.”
“All such persons are to report at the INEC Local Government Offices and other designated Registration Centres nationwide with their Temporary Voter Cards TVCs to collect their PVCs.
“The commission also wishes to assure all Nigerians who registered in 2018 that their PVCs will be ready for collection in good time before the 2019 general elections.
“For further enquires, citizens can contact the nearest INEC office, or the INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC) via its hotline 0700-CALL-INEC, Twitter, Facebook and website.”