The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, has raised an alarm over issues concerning the collection of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, in Kaduna State.
Elisha Rosi, the acting president of SOKAPU, in a statement, said: “We have been inundated with complaints that officials of INEC at some PVCs collection centres in some local government areas in urban areas of Kaduna State are making it difficult for citizens to get their PVCs.”
The statement added: “For hours citizens would besiege collection centres just to be told to return the next day or that their polling units have been changed to places where it will be impossible for them to access on election days due to restriction of movements.”
At the same time, the statement which noted that there is news of large uncollected PVCs at certain centres, particularly in the rural areas, also lamented that there are agents of some politicians who have been going around collecting PVCs of unsuspecting persons and paying them sums of money.
“Anyone who forfeits his voter’s card [because] of financial inducement is not only doing himself and his future a great disservice but is also culpable in the criminal act. Report to the police anyone who asks for your voter’s card in exchange for money,” the statement advised.
SOKAPU advised Southern Kaduna people to take advantage of 2022 Amended Electoral Act that has added much integrity to future elections in Nigeria. The association expressed a firm belief that with the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BIVAS, it will be very difficult to compromise future elections.
The group further stated: “Therefore, it is very unacceptable that our citizens seeking to exercise their franchise are being dribbled around by INEC officials. We call upon INEC to look into this allegation and take serious steps to arrest this misconduct if found true.”
SOKAPU noted that with the situation in which Southern Kaduna, and indeed the entire Nigeria found itself, every one of their members that are of voting age cannot afford to show indifference.
“The future of our country lies with our PVCs and Southern Kaduna should be seen to be fully participating in the 2023 general polls,” the forum explained.