The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says about 21,352 of 34,242 newly printed Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for new registrants are still uncollected in Lagos State, four months after release.
Olusegun Agbaje, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, disclosed this at the State Level CSO Engagement Visit organised by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) powered by the EU-Support Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) in collaboration with INEC.
The theme of the engagement is: “Women’s Political Participation and Inclusion and 2023 General Elections.
Speaking, Mr Agbaje, who decried the huge number of old and new PVCs lying fallow at INEC offices in the 20 local government areas, said the staggering amount of the PVCs belonged to women, being important stakeholders in elections.
“Permanent Voter Card (PVC) is the sole instrument required from the Voter to participate in an election, it is an important eligibility instrument for voting without which no citizen would be allowed to partake in an election.
“However, the total number of uncollected old PVCs in the state is 928,362 as at 5th Sept. 5, no doubt, the uncollected PVCs for women may be in the neighborhood of 436,451 (47 per cent).
“Meanwhile, the total number of uncollected New PVCs is 21,352 out of 34,242 received PVCs, while the rest of the new PVCs for the 2021/22 registration exercise are being awaited.
“The implication of this is that the commission is having a staggering number of PVCs that should be collected by the women and other eligible voters to enable them to participate massively in the forthcoming 2033 general elections,” Mr Agbaje said.
According to him, it is imperative that women folk, particularly the Nigerian Women Trust Fund under the Gender Election Watch (GEW) and other stakeholders rise up to the challenge to ensure the PVCs are collected without further delay.
Mr Agbaje, who expressed dissatisfaction over the low number of women flag-bearers in the forthcoming general elections, said women needed support, encouragement and needed to be bold to fight like men to take leadership and political positions.
“We have fewer women than men going for elective positions (in 2023). It is not too good, we have to continue to improve through this kind of engagement so that in future elections, we will have more women coming out for elective positions,” he added.
The INEC boss urged stakeholders to mobilise women for PVCs’ collection and encourage them to vote in the 2023 general elections, saying that INEC had taken a number of measures aimed at ensuring the smooth conduct of the general elections.
Mr Agbaje said that the just-concluded Continuous Voter Registration captured 12,298,944 out of which a total of 6,224,866 were female while male registrants were 6,074,078.
Source: Peoples Gazette
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