By Adepote Arowojobe
As the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) nears, more local government chairmen and political party executives in Lagos are mobilising residents to pick up their cards.
INEC fixed Dec. 12, 2022 till Jan. 22, 2023 for PVC collection in all its 774 local government offices nationwide daily, including Saturdays and Sundays.
The exercise moved to the 8,809 registration areas and wards from Friday, Jan. 6, where it can be collected until Jan. 15.
After Jan. 15, the exercise will revert to the local government offices of the commission until Jan. 22.
Council chairmen and party chieftains in Ikorodu area of Lagos State told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that sensitisation of residents on collection was being given the urgency it deserved.
The Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, Mr Wasiu Adesina, said that the council took a proactive step by appointing committees saddled with the responsibility of mobilising electorate from different areas to collect their PVCs at their wards.
Adesina said he directed the committees to also go from house-to-house informing people on the need to collect their cards at the nearest centres, to exercise their franchise.
“On our part, we have appointed committees that will strategise and sensitise people on the importance of getting their PVCs.
“They will also ensure smooth and seamless movement of our people by providing vehicles that will convey them to different wards to collect their PVCs,” Adesina said.
The Ijede Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Chairman, Ms Motuntayo Gbadebo-Alogba, said the council was also playing its part.
“The council considers elections as a civic responsibility of citizens and helping them to get their PVCs would be a step in helping them to carry out their civic responbilities.
“More specifically, the council under my leadership has been carrying out series of enlightenment campaigns and stakeholder engagements.
“This is not starting with the PVC collection, we also did lots of sensitisation for people to register and it is natural to follow up now to ensure all those who registered last year go to collect their PVCs.
“Only yesterday, I met with the leadership of various ethnic nationalities resident in Ijede LCDA and prompted them towards sensitising their people to pick up their PVCs.
“The PVC is not useful if left with Independent Electoral Commission(INEC); citizens must endeavour to go pick it and be ready to vote,” she said.
The chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku LCDA, Mr Sesan Daini, said, “We are working with Community Development Committee, Commity Development Associations, Clubs, Societies, religious bodies, traditional institutions and non indigenes groups”.
He said that they were working with them to sensitise people on the importance of PVC collection so they could perform their civic rights.
Also, the APC LGA Chairman, Alhaji Waheed Animashaun, reiterated that the ward executives were mandated to sensitise residents who newly moved into particular areas or who did not know their wards.
The LGA Chairman of PDP, Mr Olanrewaju Oshin, said the party had also sensitised residents of Ikorodu on collection of their PVCs in preparation for the forthcoming general elections.
“I think they have done well by bringing the collection centres nearer to people to ensure more people participate in the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
One of INEC senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said they conducted sensitisation programme on PVC collection and came closer to people for easy access.
According to her, the challenges being experienced are faded temporary slips and overcrowding in collection centres.
NAN reports that INEC had on Jan. 6 moved distribution of PVCs to the 11 wards in Ikorodu to enable residents to get them at their doorsteps.
NAN correspondent in Ikorodu reports that the exercise, in areas monitored, had impressive turnout.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Benson Ezugwu/Oluwole Sogunle