PVC: Yiaga Africa raises concern over 200,000 newly registered voters for Edo/Ondo polls

* With BVAS, let registered voters use valid identification

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, has expressed concern that some of the over 200,000 newly registered voters for Edo and Ondo states governorship elections may not get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before the polls.

Itodo says such prospective voters and as well others who might not be able to lay their hands on their PVCs on election days may end up being disenfranchised unnecessary despite being captured already in the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

He spoke on Channels Television about the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections later in the year.

Itodo said that ordinarily, with the introduction of the BVAS there ought to be no need to use PVC during elections, saying BVAS should have cancelled out the use of PVC in the country’s elections.

He called for electoral laws to be updated to capture the new realities, saying once a voter has any means of identification, be it National Identity Card, driving licence or international passport, and their name is on the register, they should be able to vote.

“In the 2023 elections, there were people who registered and could not collect their PVCs before the elections so they could not vote and that is an infringement on the right of those people.

“This whole process where we disenfranchise people on the basis of not securing a PVC, not because of their own doing but because there are some logistic issues on the part of the electoral commission, so these people don’t cast their votes.

“We have been advocating that we don’t need PVCs anymore for elections. I don’t understand why we are using the PVCs for election when we have a BVAS that functions optimally for voters accreditation.

“If your details are already on BVAS, you can show up with any means of identification and cast your vote,” Itodo said.

The record shows that 67 per cent of the new registrants are within the 18-34 age bracket, but Itodo lamented that most Nigerian youths do not participate in the election process.

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