The just concluded voter registration exercise saw the registration of 12,298,944 new voters. Ever since the electoral body initiated the PVC drive on 28th June 2021, citizens of different demographics turned out to enrol at the nearest INEC office and online.
At the end of the PVC registration exercise, statistics from INEC show that out of the total registered persons, 6,074,078 males were recorded, while 6,224,866 females were also reported at the end of the exercise. The youths comprised 71.4% of the total enrolled people, as 8,784,677 young persons came out to register.
As quite laudable as this sounds, the electoral process doesn’t end at registration for the Permanent Voter’s Card; the citizens still have many roles to play to ensure a successful outing at the 2023 General elections.
With the current rise in crime and widespread insecurity, epileptic power supply, increasing unemployment rate, dwindling revenue and poor fiscal state of the country, it’s an obligation upon the citizens to participate in the whole electoral process. This action ensures the appointment of credible representatives who have the interest of the masses.
The first step is getting your Voters Card from the INEC Centre you registered. The 2019 general election 84,004,084 million residents registered for their voter’s card, while roughly 86% eventually collected their PVC. It’s worth knowing that without the voter’s card, an individual won’t be able to vote come the 2023 elections.
To that effect, INEC has released a timeline where registered voters could go to their registration centres to receive their cards. So what’s the essence of going through the rigours of registration without eventually participating in the elections?
The citizens should also carry out due process to ensure they vote for credible candidates. It’s sad to note that some Nigerians forgo dependable candidates and instead vote across tribal and religious lines. As a result, meritocracy lies in the mud while inadequacy is being emulated. It’s worth noting that the average citizen will bear the brunt of poor governance.
As a result, manifestos should be scrutinised. Questions should be asked about plans, and framework should be inspected to vote for proactive leaders. In the same vein, intending voters can do well to attend debates and listen to interviews of aspirants and Grace Town Hall meetings to ascertain the plans of the individuals vying for these political posts.
On the election day, the voters should visit the polling booths calmly, listen to INEC officials at the voting centres and adhere to instructions. Irregularities such as vote buying and selling, and snatching ballot boxes are crimes punished by law, and any individual caught perpetrating these acts is liable to be prosecuted.
The 2023 elections will be a very deciding one in the history of this nation, and citizens should stand up from their respective dormant places, collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards and elect credible representatives into public offices. If all these are carried out, we are on the right track to create the Nigeria of our dreams.