Mr Adewale Keshinro, Youth Leader, Ewu Ward, Oshodi/Isolo Constituency , has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow for Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) registration at weekends.
Keshinro made the plea on Thursday at the 8th Annual Constituency Stakeholders meeting held in Lagos.
The meeting had the theme: “2023 General Election: The Imperative of Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC).
According to him, the youth has been accused of not participating in the elections and this is so because they did not have their PVCs.
“We have been mobilising the youth to come out to register for their PVC and unfortunately, 90 per cent of those that turn up from their various offices, cannot register because the numbers given will not reach them.
“Some of the youth who are working take permission from their offices to come out and this permission cannot be given always,” he said.
Responding, Mrs Haolat Mustapha, an INEC official said the registration exercise started since June, 2021, and it was unfortunate that the youths were coming out at the eleventh hour.
Mustapha noted that the commission would do all in its powers to ensure that everyone registered and got their PVCs.
She said the polling units in Lagos state had been increased from 8,464 to 13,225, urging everyone to ensure that they registered at units closest to their houses.
The INEC official said, apart from the fingerprint for voting, facial capture had also been included to ensure that everyone voted.
Earlier, Mr Sokunle Hakeem, House of Assembly member representing Oshodi/Isolo 1, commended the stakeholders for being responsive to matters affecting their communities and the state at all times.
Hakeem, however, said it was worrisome that over 20 million PVCs still remained uncollected across the nation according to a recent report by the INEC.
“Out of this huge figure, one million is from Lagos state and this situation do not augur well for our progress, our democracy and the development of the state.
“This is because it may create an opportunity for incompetent persons to be elected as our leaders and representatives thus overturning our achievements,” he said.
He said the imperatives of the PVC as mentioned in the theme was hinged on the need to ensure that eligible persons exercised their civic responsibility and vote the right, trustworthy, competent and capable candidates to be our leaders.
He said Lagos state had been blessed with great and visionary leaders and representatives right from the second republic, which was made possible due to citizens active voting at the election to choose the right candidates.
“This was supported by committed and patriotic legislators in the state house of assembly over the years, who instituted policies that ensured job creation, business opportunities, housing, healthcare delivery, dependable revenue generation,reliable justice system and others.
“Consequently, the Lagos state assembly under the leadership of Dr Mudashiru Obasa wishes to reiterate the need for everyone to obtain his or her PVC in order to vote in the coming general elections.
“Your PVC is your power not just to continue building the state but the nation as well, it is your power for continuity, stability and sustainability of our enduring and cherished democracy, your power to secure a bright future for our children, state and nation.
“We have always worked together for years as partners in progress, the house of assembly remains yours and we shall always continue to be there for you and represent your interest at all times,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 Eight Annual Constituency Stakeholders Meeting was organised by the assembly to create more awareness on the importance of PVCs in the 2023 general elections.
The meeting held simultaneously in the 40 state constituencies of Lagos state. (NAN)