As preparations are made for the 2023 elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have disclosed that over 20 million permanent voters cards (PVC’s) lay unclaimed in the vault.
It also express concern over rate of poor participation of citizens in the ongoing continuous voters’ card registration exercise.
Mrs Mary Nkem, the Deputy Director of INEC, stated this at the launch of the PVC Bus Drive project, which was organized by a non-governmental organization(NGO), the Advocacy for Civic Engagement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
She urged all citizens of the country, placing more emphasis on the youths, to be less apathetic to the process of electing new leaders that will cause change in the nation.
According to INEC, social media will not determine the winners of the 2023 general elections, votes will.
The Commission said, “This CVR exercise began on the 30th of June, 2021, but we have discovered that between that time and a few weeks ago, the turnout has been relatively low.
“If the youths in this country would come out in mass to cast their votes, we will no longer be recording 15 or 20 percent voter turnout in our elections, because we know that the population of the youths alone can make a difference.
“The youths no longer visit the social media, they basically live there today. Therefore, when you want to reach out to them, you must go to where you will meet them – social media.
“However, I will like to say that INEC does not conduct an election on social media neither do we count ballots on Twitter or Instagram.
“Our ballots are counted in the ballot box. It is only the ballot paper that enters into the ballot box that the Commission counts.
“So, what does that mean? It means that on election day people must go out to cast their votes. For you to be able to do so, you must be a registered voter and in possession of a PVC.”
The Executive Director of Advocacy for Civic Engagement, Barr. Obinna Osisiogu, said the PVC Bus Drive Project shall support at least 60 percent of eligible young voters to register, acquire their PVC’s and vote in the upcoming 2023 elections.
He said the project was initiated to put an end to the logistics barriers that hinder some Nigerians, specifically those residing in rural areas from participating in the ongoing continuous voters’ registration exercise.
Furthermore, he explained that Advocacy for Civic Engagement,(ACE) working in collaboration with Yiaga Africa and the UNDP will provide free transport service through buses, in two area councils in the FCT, as well as across the Local Government Areas in Ondo and Ogun states, so as to enable citizens to access the INEC office closest to them, as part of the traditional and non-traditional means of political mobilization.
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