In all ways, Nigeria is an ironic entity. While other countries incentivise their citizens to go out and vote, Nigerians are paying to collect their own PVCs.
In less than two months, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a nationwide election where Nigerians, yet again, will have the opportunity to decide who leads them.
The sensitization on how to register for and get Permanent Voter Card (PVC) has been loud from INEC, Civil Society Organizations and even aspirants themselves.
However, there have been a lot of complaints from Nigerians about the human-induced difficulties that have made the PVC registration and collections almost impossible for many.
Although INEC’s guidelines on voter registration frown against the act, but it has been noticed that there is a charge attached to PVC collections.
Many have come forward to express their disappointment towards this new act from the INEC officials.
According to a resident in Alagbado,
“I arrived at exactly 7am because I want to be among the first to be attendee to but unfortunately, even as I came early, I still met crowd. Aside that, I have been coming for days without success while some said they came as early as 6am. No INEC official was on hand to give relevant information on what is required or how to go about it. Everybody was just waiting under the scorching sun for hours”
“Then they told us that we have to pay some money before we can. Some, who couldn’t pay, stayed outside the gate waiting endlessly. Some paid as high as N3000 while some paid more. A man who collected his card after paying N3000 begged the agent to help the wife but the agent refused as the agent insisted he must pay another N3000 for his wife.
The man also went ahead to reveal that some tribes were been favored. “Another thing that played out there was the issue of tribes. Most of the people waiting were non-indigenes.”
Well, other people said something related to it and it seems that is what is going about in most centres.
INEC has continuously told the world that no man or woman is expected to pay before collecting their PVCs as it is their right to get them so as to vote for the candidate of their choices, but in the end, INEC agents are using it as a way to extort citizens.
Nigerians are thereby pleading with the government to find a strict solution so as to enable people get their voter cards easily and at the right time so as to get to vote their right candidate during the election.