The Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, a civil society organisation (CSO), says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must consider the distribution of permanent voter cards (PVCs) as a national emergency.
In a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Sam Amadi, the organisation’s director, said the electoral commission has done well in taking PVC collection centres closer to citizens but there are still complaints of disenfranchisement in some places across the country.
There have been complaints by many Nigerians who have registered but are yet to obtain their PVCs.
“INEC has done well to take collection centres closer to the people as a way of ensuring smoother collection,” Amadi said.
“But it has failed to respond effectively to the deliberate disenfranchisement of Nigerians in places like Lagos State, lack of diligence by its own staff and inadequate logistics for collection of voter’s cards.
“It is time for INEC to consider the collection of voter’s cards as a national emergency for the 2023 elections and deploy radical measures to respond to it. For example, INEC must shift its mentality to meet the challenge of students in universities and other tertiary institutions who may not have returned home to collect PVC.
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“Should the commission not be able to send their PVCs to their school addresses or aggregate these registrants and deliver to them at current places of schooling?
“The bottom line is that everyone should collect their PVCs so that we do not deprive any Nigerian the constitutional right to vote.”
Amadi said INEC should establish a situation room to receive real-time feedback from registrants who are finding it difficult to collect their PVCs.
“Such a situation room will help INEC to adapt its strategies to respond to the challenges,” he said.
“We recognise that the work is enormous. But it must be done so as not to deprive willing Nigerians of the right to vote.”
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.