The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the All Progressives Congress (APC) for creating obstacles to prevent citizens, particularly people of the SouthEast region resident in Lagos State from collecting their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to enable them vote in the 2023 general elections.
The PDP in a statement signed by Debo Ologuagba, the National Publicity Secretary (NPS), described the situation as part of “ its (APC), desperate design to use violence to sabotage free, fair and credible elections in 2023 having realized that Nigerians have rejected its Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ahead of the polls”
The party stated that “Tinubu has been in morbid fear of the soaring popularity of the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, hence the attempt by the APC to stop Nigerians from obtaining their PVCs to vote in the elections; an action that portend serious threat and danger to our democratic process”
“Is it not an irony that the party of the government of the day that pretends to have the support of the people and professes continuity is busy chasing away prospective voters?
“The APC is already suffering from Pre-Election Fever Syndrome in trepidation that it cannot win in a free, fair, credible and transparent process where Nigerians are allowed to freely express their Will.
The PDP described it as particularly disturbing , “that this pattern is a resurgence of previous attempt in 2019 where APC leaders harassed Nigerians, especially the people of the South East and threatened to throw them into the Lagoon should they vote for any other party other than the APC.
“It will also be recalled that similar act of violence was unleased on Nigerians in the Isolo axis of Lagos in the 2019 general elections, where the APC, upon discovering that it has been rejected at the polls, openly sponsored and unleashed terror on innocent citizens and destroyed all votes cast.
“The APC has again become chaotic and desperate because Nigerians have recognized it as what it is; a Special Purpose Vehicle which was hurriedly put together to defraud the nation.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC must know that they cannot surmount the determination of Nigerians who are now rallying on the platform of the PDP to use this 2023 general elections to take back their country from the stranglehold and misrule of the corrupt, incompetent, inhumane and rudderless APC.
The PDP therefore cautioned APC and its leadership “to thread carefully and rein in their thugs, hoodlums and terrorists as they will be firmly resisted by Nigerians.
The PDP statement is coming on the heels of anxiety and confusion created by some forces that made accessing the PVCs impossible, leading to heightened tension amongst prospective voters.
The situation led the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a statement where it announced the deployment of 209 machines, particularly to the South East to ease registrations
The Commission has also announced it will “ conduct open air PVC registration in Abuja with musical concerts by celebrities at the Eagles Square from 20th to the 25th of June, 2022”
The Commission disclosed that it has received reports from States indicating an unprecedented surge in the number of citizens that wish to register as voters and the challenges they face across the country. In some States, the sudden turnout of prospective registrants is overwhelming.
Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, stated that the Commission convened an urgent meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) yesterday Thursday 9th June 2022 to review the situation so that eligible Nigerians who wish to register are able to do so. The necessity to urgently deploy more voter enrolment machines to ease the congestion at the registration centres was identified as a priority.
“In response, the Commission has immediately released additional 209 machines deployed mainly to the five South Eastern States, Lagos and Kano where the pressure is most acute.
He assured that the Commission will monitor the situation over the next few days. Thereafter, it will meet to review the progress of the exercise.
“Every step will be taken and all options will be explored to ensure that eligible Nigerians are given the opportunity to register as voters.
The Commission also appealed for patience and understanding of all citizens. Every Nigerian who is 18 years of age and above has the constitutional right to register and vote in any part of the country he/she resides without let or hindrance.
“The sudden surge is an affirmation of the increasing confidence Nigerians have in our electoral process. The Commission will continue to ensure that this confidence is sustained.