As political activities ahead of the 2023 general elections become scabrous, there has been a massive awakening on the needfulness of Permanent Voters Card, PVC, in deciding whose head would wear the presidency crown.
This epic revival is not only indicating a new dawn but it is pointing to the massive sensitization by Nigerian celebrities, clergymen, philanthropists, CSOs, Media, politicians among others who have consistently urged Nigerians to go the extra mile in getting their PVCs.
Infact, some religious organizations went as far as to providing platforms where the congregants were sensitised on getting their PVCs, while others took it upon themselves in approaching the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the availability of Voter Enrolment Devices, IVED, to capture eligible applicants in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, CVR.
Prior to this time, Nigerians deemed it unnecessary and doltish to go through the stress of getting their PVCs because, according to findings, they felt their votes would be of inconsequential value to the elections.
Among those who have been massively drawn into this indepth consciousness, are the youths who in Lagos state defied the rain just to attend the Youth Vote Count Mega Concert 2.0, where PVC registration was made available, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State, on Saturday.
Also, not left out are the aged who used to be of the tradition of merely advising the younger generation to get their PVC without getting theirs, are seen taking the lead to INEC offices across Abuja.
Our correspondent who visited a number of INEC offices in Abuja, discovered that Nigerians were no longer taking it as usual business as scores of residents in AMAC Local Government, and Gwagwalada LGA, came out before 1:00am just to ensure that they get their PVCs.
There have been complaints by many people that they have gone to such registration centres repeatedly without getting registered. As the June 30 deadline draws near, they feel more afraid that they may end up not being registered.
VANGUARD confirmed the readiness of Nigerians to get their PVCs when our Correspondent went to INEC office, Karu Site, Abuja, as early as 5am only to discover that there were over 220 Nigerians on the line to get their PVCs.
VANGUARD gathered that while some Abuja residents sedulously stayed two nights in INEC offices, others, despite being disappointed in the past, kept on approaching INEC office, unrelentingly.
A mother of two in Karu AMAC LGA, Salisu Amina, 36, who spoke to our correspondent said that despite her situation, she could not stay aloof while other Nigerians are making efforts to better the state of the country.
“The situation of the country is terrible. Nigerians are suffering and we have been suffering since APC came into power. In fact, when they came in, a lot of things that were easy for Nigerians became very tough.
“As a mother, I feel this pain. Even putting food on the table for my children to eat is very difficult. Because of this terrible situation and the insecurity challenges that have become worse than before, I swore one morning that I will undergo whatever stress it will take me to get my PVC and vote out this government.
“I was here yesterday but I could not get it. Today, I have come this early and I am sure that I will wait to get my PVC”, she said.
A Jikwoyi resident, Chigozie Ebube, narrated that he came all the way from Jikwoyi to INEC office in Karu and had slept there for two nights.
He maintained that he is unwilling to give up as the country is in dire need of a new administration.
He said: “I came all the way from Jikwoyi to this place and I have been here for two nights now. From my actions, you should see that I am tired.
“I am the first child of my home and of course you understand the responsibility that comes with it. It is a very huge responsibility. Because of the responsibilities I discovered that life is worse in Nigeria. This government added to my sorrow.
“The cost of living has become unbearable. Insecurity is now a song we sing on a daily basis. I can not even properly take care of myself as all I get, I contribute them to the welfare of my family.
“The APC led administration has made my life meaningless and I am determined to vote them out. That is why I have slept in this place for two nights, hopefully I will be answered today.”
When asked why he slept for two nights, he said: “when I arrived here the first day, I discovered that there were many others that had been here and the list was long.
“So, for me to get a better chance I had to stay back to get a good number. Aside from that, I am just so determined to work against this Government using my PVC.”
Cynthia Igwe, a trader in Gwagwalada LGA, told our correspondent that Nigerians are tired of being turned in circles, stating that it is high time she acted.
She further stated that she has not been exercising her franchise rights for over a decade, noting that next year would be different.
She said: “Well, the Nigerian Government has turned us to people that have no direction. They have been taking us back and forth but this year, I can beat my chest on this, a new Nigeria will emerge.
“To be honest, I have not been exercising my voting rights for more than 10years now, but after going through 7 years with Buhari, I don’t think it will be wise for me to be a part of a government that I did not choose in 2023.”
On his part, Ebuka Jeremiah, a tailor whom our correspondent met in AMAC office in Karu, stated that: “it is better for me to undergo the stress of getting a PVC than spending another long year with a wicked administration.
“Infact, God knows how life has been since Buhari emerged as president of Nigeria. That man came with a negative atmosphere and Nigerians are really willing to take not just him but the APC administration out.”
*INEC’s stand on continuous voters registration*
On Friday, the Independent National Electoral Commission announced that based on the reports it received from some states about “unprecedented surge in the number of citizens that wish to register as voters and the challenges they face across the country.”
It, however, held a meeting and decided to deploy additional 209 machines to the five South-Eastern states, Lagos and Kano where the pressure is most acute.
INEC’s press statement added that “in some states, the sudden turnout of prospective registrants is overwhelming.”
The electoral body said that it would monitor the situation over the next few days and thereafter hold another meeting to review the progress of the registration exercise.
The press statement signed by Mr Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, gave an assurance to Nigerians thus:
“Every step will be taken and all options will be explored to ensure that eligible Nigerians are given the opportunity to register as voters. The Commission appeals for the patience and understanding of all citizens.
“Every Nigerian who is 18 years of age and above has the constitutional right to register and vote in any part of the country he/she resides in without let or hindrance.”