Nigeria: Spike in demand for Voters Card ahead 2023 election unsettles status quo Nigeria: Spike in demand for Voters Card ahead 2023 election unsettles status quo [/caption]

 

Nigeria: Spike in demand for PVC ahead 2023 polls unsettles status quo

 

Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it extended the time-line to end voter registration with additional 60 days after the June 30th deadline. This is the second time the INEC is extending voter registration timeline.

The reasons for the extensions, the INEC said, was massive demand for voters’ card. In Nigeria, eligible voters are denied the right to cast their votes if they don’t possess the Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC).

The new wave of demand for the PVC is connected with the hope that the INEC might implement the use of electronic transmission of votes which would reduce incidences of election manipulation. There is also a spike in political awareness being spread on the social media that there is a possibility of voting out the predominant political parties.

Both the ruling and opposition parties have completed primaries elections and presented their candidates. But the citizens, especially on the social media seem to favour a third force led by an entrepreneur and two-term governor from South-east Nigeria, Peter Obi of a less popular party, the Labour Party. Mr. Obi’s voice of ‘restoring the country to the ordinary people’ seems to be giving hopes to millions of Nigerians, who hitherto never bothered to vote in presidential elections. Hence, the mad rush by people to obtain the PVC and be legible to vote.

There is also a court injunction asking the commission not to stop the registration exercise.

A Federal court Justice, Mobolaji Olajuwon, on recently, granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on motion exparte filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.

SERAP and 185 concerned Nigerians had early this month filed the lawsuit against INEC, asking the court to “declare unconstitutional, illegal and incompatible with international standards the failure of the electoral body to extend the deadline for voter registration to allow eligible Nigerians to exercise their rights.”

In the suit, SERAP had asked the court for “an order restraining INEC, its agents, privies, assigns, or any other person(s) claiming through it from discontinuing the continuous voters’ registration exercise from the June 30, 2022, or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

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Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles

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