INEC And Issuance Of PVCs

Apparently worried by the avalanche of complaints by Nigerians that they have not been issued Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Goodluck Jonathan recently directed that all eligible voters be issued the cards on or before February 14, 2015.
The need to urgently distribute the cards has become imperative because voting in the next election is hinged on possession of the Permanent Voters Cards. Thus, the PVCs are major vehicles of solidifying democracy in the country. In effect, anyone without the card is automatically disenfranchised.
We wholeheartedly welcome the President’s directive as compliance will significantly contribute to the deepening of our democratic culture. In the first place, the forthcoming elections cannot be seen to be fair, free and credible if eligible voters are denied voting on account of lack of voter’s card. In simple term, the voters cards empowers the electorate to decide who governs them at all levels. The demand and complaints about the non-distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards underscores the electorate’s growing consciousness in the electoral process this time around. The story was different in the 2011 general elections.
The eagerness of Nigerians to obtain the cards and vote in the elections is an indication that they are confident that their votes will count.
Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief when the issue of Permanent Voters Cards was muted because of the belief that it could help check electoral fraud, save time and money, reduce voter apathy and allied vices.
Unfortunately, the lofty idea has not been realised as many Nigerians are yet to get their PVCs, primarily because ineffective distribution has become a clog in the wheel. Should INEC be blamed for this lapse?
We recall that INEC whose responsibility it is to distribute the PVCs had directed registered voters to go to the points of registration to collect the PVCs with the proviso that those unable to locate theirs should go to INEC office in the local government headquarters for their PVCs.
We commend INEC for such measures as would ensure that Nigerians get the PVCs. Also noteworthy is INEC’s decision to decentralise the distribution of PVCs. We believe this measure will definitely bring succour to many Nigerians who are yet to get the PVC.
However, in view of the fact that the consequences of not having the PVC will be too grave to bear, we appeal to persons who have not collected their cards to go for collection at the designated points.
Inspite of the hiccups being experienced, we believe that the present exercise is experimental and believe that there is room for improvement in future elections.