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CSO Statement – PVC Collection & Sundry Issues

 

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December 19, 2022.
Lagos, Nigeria

For Immediate Release:

PVC COLLECTION & SUNDRY ISSUES AHEAD OF #NIGERIADECIDES2023

You cannot live a normal existence if you have not taken care of a problem that affects your life and affects the lives of others; that is the value you hold which in fact defines your very existence.
–  Wole Soyinka
(Nobel Laureate)

On Saturday, June 25th, at the Youth Vote Count Mega Concert in Abuja, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof M Yakubu, said that cards for those newly registered would be available in October.[1]  On Sunday, July 31st, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced that cards for those who registered between January 16 and June 30th will be ready in October, while cards for those who registered in July will be ready in November[2]. In the month of November, no formal announcement was made that the date had been moved to December.

INEC did not have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for PVC Collection until the week of December 5th despite the agitations of citizens who continued to visit the INEC Local Governments offices and would be told to come back. For those who registered in 2021 or previously, if their cards were not found, no effort was made to solve the problem.

In a statement issued by Festus Okoye on Friday, December 2nd, INEC announced that PVCs for all registered voters would be ready from Monday, December 12th at INEC’s local government offices[3]. Unfortunately, Nigerians again have had to waste money and time to visit INEC’s offices around the country, only to be told that their cards are not ready and they should come back. In addition, in some places where cards are available, registered voters express frustration with the disorderliness and cumbersome nature of the PVC collection process. In other locations, there seems to be extortion as was recorded and shared on Twitter by @samking10011 from the INEC office in Uvwie Local Government, Delta State.

In light of the above, we ask that INEC do the following:

  1. Ensure that its Citizens’ Contact Centre works optimally.
  2. Create a dedicated desk for civil society organisations, media and citizens to escalate the issues being observed for quick resolution. Also increase proactive information dissemination, especially when previously announced timelines change.
  3. Create a mechanism to report INEC officials engaged in extortion or deliberately sharing misleading information to disenfranchise.
  4. Contact ALL citizens that were deleted due to double registration or any other issue so they do not waste time and resources looking for their PVCs. For those whose new registration was deleted and the old one retained, contact them so they know the correct location to pick up their PVCs.
  5. Make public the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for PVC Collection as the public is unaware of its contents.
  6. Enable registered voters to check online and/or via USSD if their card is ready for pickup and the exact location of the card. For those who just registered, contact them directly via email or SMS when their cards are ready. This will help to control the crowd at INEC’s offices and decrease the unnecessary expenses and stress for citizens.
  7. Extend PVC Collection for every day that INEC has been unprepared. As of today, PVC Collection should end on Sunday, January 27th. This will continue to be moved up for as long as INEC can not ensure that all registered citizens can pick up their PVCs without tears.

 

There are high expectations for this election and INEC can not be seen to be deliberately or inadvertently disenfranchising certain groups of people.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

 

 

Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) (www.thecjid.org) is a media innovation think tank founded in 2014 to enable a West African media that advances the values of human rights and democratic accountability. CJID builds and/ incubates innovative media platforms including Premium Times, Dubawa, Leaks.ng, and gosi.app. We also provide thought leadership to deepen the inclusive development discourse and tackle information disorder in the region.

ConnectHub (www.connecthubng.org) is a human rights platform that documents, defends and advocates against police brutality and state violence in Nigeria.

Enough is Enough Nigeria (www.eie.ng) is a network of individuals and organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship. EiE’s #RSVP – Register | Select | Vote | Protect is Nigeria’s longest-runing get-out-the-vote campaign. EiE was an integral part of the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012; co-leads the #OpenNASS campaign and launched the #OfficeOfTheCitizen campaign to mark its 5th anniversary in 2015. It publishes a collection of essays to mark its decade plus of impact in 2022 – Footprints: Past | Present | Future.

#FixPolitics (www.fixpolitics.org) is a citizens-led research-based initiative advocating for structural change of politics and governance in Nigeria and on the African continent. #FixPolitics recently launched its Office Of The Citizen (OOTC) campaign in Nigeria and is currently executing its 2023 Elections:Matters Arising awareness campaign Initiative. 

Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI) (www.kdi.org.ng) is a youth-focused nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that inspires citizen-led democratic development that is anchored on the principles of participation, data-driven advocacy, promotion of strong democratic institutions, and public policies.

The Electoral College Nigeria (www.electoralcollng.org) is a political literacy institution that takes civic education up another notch. ECN believes political literacy is critical to every sphere of a democracy and has involvement in debates, virtual courses and training for elected and political appointees. ECN has partnerships with CJID on its Politeracy 101 course; with states on LG Chairpersons Training and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) on debates.

Women Advocates and Research Development Centre (WARDC) (www.wardcnigeria.org) is a feminist human rights organisation supporting gender justice and good governance.

Yiaga Africa (www.yiaga.org) is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. We focus on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community.

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