Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District has urged registered voters resident in Lagos State to ensure that they collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), which is the key to participating in the forthcoming 2019 general election.
The call was made following revelations from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that over seven million and eight hundred thousand (7,800,000) PVCs are yet to be collected nationwide. About one million and four hundred thousand (1,400,000) of these are from Lagos State alone.
It would be recalled that prior to the 2015 elections, INEC had introduced the use of smart card readers. This has necessitated issuance of PVCs as part of the identification and authentication process.
After the 2015 elections, about twelve million (12m) PVCs had remained in the electoral body’s custody.
“With previous elections, Nigerians developed voter apathy due to a distrust of the system. The 2015 elections taught us, however, that as individuals, our votes count. Thus, we must rise up as citizens to fulfill our civic responsibility and ensure accountability in governance,” Senator Tinubu said.
Towards the 2019 elections, INEC has released modalities for ongoing continuous voter registration. These centres open from 9 am t0 3 pm daily. But Senator Tinubu has pleaded that the period should be extended; and should include weekends to allow people who are unable to visit the centres during work hours do so during the weekend.
In addition, she said INEC should ensure that it has adequate resources to make the process quick and easy.
The Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District also called for increased voter education and sensitization.
She asked the Federal Government to declare public holidays in order to give ample time for collection of PVCs ahead of the December 2018 deadline.