As the February 16th 2019 presidential election draws near, it is important to inform Ndigbo yet again that nobody can vote without presenting a Permanent Voter’s Card, popularly known as PVC on the Election Day. The PVC is everyone’s passport to the polling station and by extension, the ballot box, beside other advantages.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requires every eligible voter to obtain the PVC, which you are entitled to as a registered adult Nigerian and potential voter.
But we note with dismay that thousand of these cards have not been collected, regrettably in the South East and particularly here in Imo State. We do not have specific figures at the moment, but INEC has put the number of uncollected PVCs nationally at eight million, earlier this month. When you visit the collection centres anywhere in the State, you will be convinced that most of uncollected cards would belong to Ndimo – Ndigb!
This is as a result of the unnecessary difficulty in collecting the PVC. Some people would go to the centres twice and still return without the PVC. Some are made to wait so long that they get angry or frustrated and leave. This is in addition to those whose transfer requests have not been sorted out completely, those whose cards have been lost in the rush and others whose names cannot be found on the register. There also allegations of INEC staff, shamelessly demanding money. Many potential voters are still walking about with their Temporary Voter’s Card, (TVC) for these reasons and many more.
Whereas in other places, efforts are being made to encourage people to pick up their PVCs by taking it almost to their doorsteps, here people leave their jobs, travel miles for it and return empty handed, due to one silly reason or the other.
It is true that some people have also gone and collected their PVCs without difficulty. But the numbers unable to do so is worrying. It is unclear how some people cannot find their name on the register, although they went through the normal process and have the TVC as proof. Computer malfunction is not a convincing reason, but only confirms the fear that INEC is not ready for this election.
We hope that such persons whom INEC has deregistered by its own action or inaction will not be disenfranchised on that day.