The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been asked to deepen its drive for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2019 general election by engaging religious organizations, community leaders and civil society organizations in its sensitization efforts.
The #TakeItBackMovement in Ondo state gave the advice in a statement issued to journalists in Akure on Thursday.
In the statement by Adewale Momoh, Head, Publicity Committee, Ondo chapter of #TakeItBackMovement, the group said like other Nigerians, it was concerned by recent disclosure that many Nigerians are not coming forward to collect their PVCs even as the 2019 general election is only months away.
The group also noted that the South-south, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest geographical zones have been listed as areas with the highest number of unclaimed PVCs in the country.
To facilitate the participation of a greater number of Nigerians in the electoral process, the group therefore urged INEC to amend its timetable for the Continuous Voters Registrations exercise and collection of PVCs from the current daily 9 AM - 3 PM to 7 AM - 6 PM including weekends to enable the full participation of eligible Nigerians.
"As alarming as this could be, it is believed that this is not best of times to be weighing the geographical zones with the highest rate of political consciousness.
"But it is imperative to make it a sense of responsibility by every Nigerian to unite in this civic duty at sensitising one another on the procedure of obtaining the PVCs without hassle.
"As a matter of national urgency, where a small fraction of PVCs have been issued out of the large number of registered electorate, INEC should intensify efforts at ensuring that electorate come for their PVCs by engaging religious leaders, community heads, CSOs, NGOs etc. in the collection drive," said the group.
The group added that it would continue to serve as a watchdog to ensure that every eligible voter is registered INEC ahead of the 2019 poll.
It tasked the electoral body to again update the general public with the figures of the yet to be claimed PVCs by pasting the data in each polling units or political wards across the country.
"With a step further, the data of uncollected PVCs should again be displayed in each of the polling units before the 2019 elections, so as to ensure that greater percentage of voters are not disenfranchised.
"Just as the #TakeItBackMovement has been on vigorous awareness campaign and aggressive sensitisation across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, every eligible voter that desire a working and glorious Nigeria should not at this critical time in the country view the PVCs as a choice but rather as necessity which we owe our dear country as Nigerians.
"It is with this drive at rescuing our country from the clinched fists of bad leaders who have refused to take us to our Israel since the days of yore, that the #OndoStateTeam of the #TakeItBackMovement, decided to ensure that the venues of the Continuous Voters' Registration, CVR, exercise across the 18 local government areas of the state are made available to the people of Ondo State.
"This is to ensure that henceforth, majority of Nigerians, particularly the youths, should decide their future," the group added.