Nigerians have been charged to register and collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to facilitate generational transition in the nation’s polity.
Presidential hopeful, Omoyele Sowore, gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja, during a meeting between a coalition of Civil Society Organisations and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on the need to extend the deadline for Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
According to him, Nigeria is set to witness generational change from the old to the new, as it relates to the nation’s political setting.
His words: "I want to remind us to register, so that we can vote out the enemies of democracy in Nigeria, and the only way we can do this is to be empowered with our PVCs. The PVC has become so important in our life now that we cannot afford not to have them. If there is any one of you watching or listening, who has not collected the PVC or attempted to register to vote, you are doing the generation ahead of you a disservice.
"We are about to have a generational change. We want to have a generational transition from the old, rugged and useless in this country, and you have a new order, in which we have presented ourselves, to replace them without apology."
He noted that the registration of voters is central to free and fair elections, adding that the credibility of the registration would determine the preparedness of the electoral body.
Addressing the INEC Chairman, he said: "You are the chairman, who has a responsibility to almost 198 million Nigerians, and I think you will be the happiest person if we can have 150 million people registered."
Sowore charged INEC to critically address the demand for an extension of the deadline, with the view to giving millions of Nigerians the opportunity to exercise their civil responsibility. He noted that Mahmood, being the chairman of the electoral bodies of all West African countries, should be seen as a role model in the conduct of a credible, free and fair election.
"Let us roll forward the opportunity to give Nigerians the opportunity to register. We want you to be able to announce the result of one of those sitting down here in 2019. We would love to collect the return certificate from you, knowing that INEC will be impartial,” Sowore submitted.
The group was led by maverick singer and leader of the OurMumuDonDo Movement, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy.
In a letter submitted by the group to the INEC chairman and read by the National Secretary of the OurMumuDonDo Movement, Raphael Adebayo, the group stated that the extension of the deadline would afford those born after May 29, 1999, and referred to as 'Democracy Children' the opportunity to vote for the first time since the beginning of the fourth republic.
The group urged INEC to rescind its decision to suspend the CVR exercise on August 17, 2018, and instead, extend CVR till December 14, 2018 to enable many Nigerians register.
"We have been inundated by calls and complaints from frustrated Nigerians in different parts of the country, who are still unable to register as eligible voters," Adebayo stated.
Also in the group was the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and president aspirant, Kinsley Moghalu.