By Mohammed Baba Busu
The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) has urged stakeholders in Nasarawa State to mobilise people to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in order to vote candidates for candidate of their choice in the forthcoming general elections.
Dr. Uthman Abdulrahman Ajidagba, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Nasarawa State, made the call on Thursday in Lafia during a stakeholders’ meeting on PVC collection and 2023 General Elections organized by the commission.
Ajidagba said that PVCs were now on collection across the State and the country while calling on registered voters to go and obtain their cards.
“As a way of reciprocating the Commission’s effort, please ensure you collect your PVC today.
“Since PVC is everyone’s licence to vote as enshrined in the Electoral Act, the collection is now on-going at our Local Government Area Offices across the State.
“The Commission has earmarked 6th- 15th of January for collection at Registration Areas (RAs) after which they are to be returned to Area Offices from between 15th to 22nd January, 2023,” he said.
Ajidagba said that the crucial engagement was aimed at rejuvenating the commission’s activities preparatory to the 2023 general elections.
“It gives me great joy to welcome you, our critical Stakeholders, to this very crucial engagement aimed at rejuvenating our activities, preparatory to the 2023 general elections.
“The complex nature of the electoral process makes it imperative to engage a host of stakeholders, in order to succeed; hence the need to come together to interact and share ideas on how best to execute the electoral mandate,” he said.
The REC said that the Commission would conduct free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in 2023.
“As determined as we are to improving our electoral system, one thing that is a task for us is conducting free, fair, credible and inclusive elections.
“Given this doggedness, we have severally embarked on series of researches and came up with innovations ranging from Data Capturing Machine, Card Reader to now Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
“It may be mind bugging making time to ask why the change of technologies;
the simple answer is that, we are working to improve our electoral system,” he added.
Ajidagba said that the 2023 general elections were about 70 days from now.
He said that the Presidential and National Assembly elections were scheduled to hold on Feb. 25, 2023 while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly were slated for March 11, 2023.
Ajidagba urged stakeholders and other voters to be vigilant by policing themselves to help avert breach of security during the election.
He called on political actors and other stakeholders to please play the game by the rules in the interest of peace and for the success of the election.
Mr Cletus Ogah, Chairman, Inter-Party Advisoary Council (IPAC), Nasarawa State, assured that political parties were ready to always support and work with the commission, to ensure the success of the election.
He called on security agencies to ensure protection of Nigerians for peaceful 2023 general elections.
Alhaji Sidi Bage, the Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Traditional Council of Chiefs, commended INEC for organising the stakeholders’ meeting.
Bage said that the Emirate Council had made it mandatory for all district and village heads and other title holders to show their PVCs before entering any meeting/ engagement of the emirate.
He said that he had directed district, village heads and other title holders among other stakeholders of the emirate, to educate and sensitise their subjects to PVCs registration and collection.
The emir assured INEC of the state traditional rulers readiness to support them to succeed in its activities in the state and for peaceful election come 2023.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by the Police, NSCDC, FRSC, Army, Nigeria Correctional Service and NOA (NAN)