Connect with us
Grow Business

PVC Collection Crisis and Impending Disenfranchisement of Voters – Abideen Olasupo

Deploying Technological Innovation To Counter Fake News In The Electoral Process, By Olasupo Abideen


PVC Collection Crisis and Impending Disenfranchisement of Voters – Abideen Olasupo

The electoral commission must develop an effective communication strategy

It is heart-wrenching to see Nigerians’ efforts to get registered for their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) go down the drain. Unfortunately, this is the case for many Nigerians whose burning desire to participate in the 2023 general elections has been extinguished by the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce their PVCs despite their eligibility to participate in the polls.

Recall how the commission, Civil Society Organisations and other advocates of citizens participation encouraged Nigerians to register for their PVCs. However, after extending the dates for PVC collection twice, one will think INEC has put everything in place to ensure all eligible registered voters collect their PVCs. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

The two major explanations given by the commission are that some of these cases are those whose registration has been invalidated due to duplications or unintentional omissions in printing such cards.

More Afrika Eyes News  OF DREAMS AND POSSIBILITIES: How One Man Is Putting Nigeria On The Roadmap For A Robust Digital Economy

However, since the commencement of PVC collection, INEC consistently promised to print PVCs that were not found, especially for potential eligible voters. So, this set of Nigerians were kept waiting and hoping till the end of the collection with no response or assistance to their plights.

This is because, up till today, there are a lot of Nigerians raising complaints via social media, Radio, Television and other fora that they were able to confirm their information via Still, their PVCs were not found at the designated collection centre for reasons best known to the commission. Therefore, unless the commission takes drastic action within the next 11 days (looking very unlikely), many Nigerians will be disenfranchised for no fault of theirs.

With the elections just 11 days away, at least 7 million registered voters have reportedly been relocated to new polling units, while some polling units have been relocated to new locations. This is to decongest over-populated polling units with more than 750 registered voters. But, again, while this isn’t a bad idea, many voters whose polling units have been relocated to new locations are unaware of this development. This was discovered mainly during the just concluded mock accreditation, where eligible voters approached the designated polling unit for mock accreditation and found they had been relocated to another polling unit.

More Afrika Eyes News  Ilorin Durban Festival And The Spirit Of Ubuntu, By Taofeeq I. M

This is undoubtedly a potential recipe for disenfranchisement on election day, where citizens will leave their homes and spend hours in the queue waiting to vote before discovering they are in the wrong polling unit.
Again, this is entirely no fault of the citizens in question because their polling unit code and name as contained on their PVC may end up being different from where they have been relocated to. Unfortunately, the assistant Presiding Officers on the day may not be able to immediately flag this on the arrival of such a voter to the polling unit until it’s time for accreditation of such voter.

More Afrika Eyes News  Farooq Kperogi: Five Key Takeaways From APC Presidential Convention

The electoral commission must develop an effective communication strategy to reach out to citizens whose polling units have been relocated to prevent further disenfranchisement of citizens. Although, as advocates for citizens’ participation, we must continue to boost citizens’ confidence in the electoral process, the election management body must step up to ensure eligible voters are not disenfranchised. If any stakeholder is going to contribute to apathy and low voter turnout, it definitely should not be the election management body.

Olasupo Abideen is a good governance, youth investment and public policy enthusiast. Abideen serves as the Kwara state coordinator of the NotTooYoungToRun movement and the Global Director, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative.
Please send comments and feedback to [email protected]
He tweets @opegoogle.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Opinions

To Top