Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
A Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Progressive Abia Youths, PAY, says it had begun mobilisation of Abia youths for aggressive sensitisation of voters on the collection of their Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs; and for full participation in the 2023 elections.
President General of the NGO, Comrade Kingsley Ekejiuba, who disclosed this during a workshop for youths in Abia, vowed to end voter apathy in the state.
He explained that the objective of the group was to mobilize Abia youths for aggressive mass orientation of Abia voters for collection of their PVCs, and active participation during the forthcoming elections.
Ekejiuba expressed disappointment over the low level of participation among youths during elections, and vowed to reverse the ugly trend.
He said his organisation with its partners had determined to mobilize at least 75 per cent of voters for active participation in the 2023 general election.
“We want to kill voter apathy in Nigeria. Statistics from INEC show only about 35% of voters participated in the 2019 elections, but in 2023 we are targeting 75%.”
Ekejiuba said the group had started mobilisation of Abia youths to move to the hinterlands and sensitise the locals on the need to collect their PVCs, adding that part of their goal is to assist INEC in bringing the PVCs closer to the locals.
He disclosed that the group assisted in mobilizing about 74,000 voters during the CVR exercise, and promised to sensitise more voters ahead of the forthcoming elections.
Ekejiuba who said that Nigerian youths had risen to take back their country, said 2023 would lead to the birth of a new Nigeria.
He vowed to mobilize Abia youths against bad leaders in 2023, and to help in enthroning good and credible leadership in the state.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has cleared the air over some allegations trailing the on-going distribution of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs in Abia State, denying that the commission is making things slow and difficult for voters.
Head, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Abia State, Mrs Rebecca Jimmy who made the clarification in Umuahia during a workshop by PAY, on PVC collection, said collection of PVCs for voters who registered between 2011 and December 2021 was going without any hitches at INEC offices across the Local Government Areas in the state.
She, however, said that the PVCs of voters who registered during the just-concluded Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise between January and July 2022, were still being processed.
She commended PAY for its continued support in creating awareness among the Abia voting public which she noted, accounted for the massive turnout during the CVR exercise.
Mrs Jimmy restated the preparedness of INEC to ensure a free and fair polls in 2023.