As the 2023 general elections is fast approaching, there have been clamour by religious leaders, academicians, entertainers, corporate organizations amongst others, urging Nigerians eligible to vote to register in the ongoing continuous voter registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The call was informed by the agitation for capable leaders that can profer solutions to economic and security challenges facing the country.
Due to indifference of many Nigerians to participating in elections, individuals and groups have devised unusual means to make collection of PVCs mandatory for their followers, giving them conditions.
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Some have mandated their followers to get PVCs before they could enjoy certain rights, including payment of wages/salaries, attending church services, among others identified as follows.
Don’t come to church if you dont have PVC
Reverend father, Kefas Gogwim asked his congregants who gathered for celebration of mass to go home if they do not possess Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Reverend Gogwim was seen in a 2-minute video which has trended across social media, addressing the congregants outside a church.
Members who showed their PVCs to him were allowed into the church while those who did not have were told to leave.
No PVC, No salaries!
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) also directed its members not to pay salary to any staff working under them until such workers present their PVCs.
IPMAN chairman Kano chapter, Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, said the association found it very necessary to encourage its members to excersice their civic responsibilities.
He explained that the directive followed a meeting with the National President of the association, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, who mandated him to give the directive on his behalf.
“The association had also resolved and directed its members not to give salary to any staff working under them until such staff present their PVC.”
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) equally urged Christians to obtain their PVCs ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Chairman of the PFN, Steven Dangana, said the fellowship had declared June 26, as “PVC Sunday,” adding that members would be expected to attend church service with their PVCs that day.
He explained that the decision to declare the PVC Sunday was taken at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on June 16 in Lagos.
No PVC, no continuous assessment
In other to ensure that his students get their PVC, Dr Michael Ugwueze, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nigeria, has decided that PVC ownership by his stude ts would serve as their continuous assessment test of 30 marks.
Ugwueze in an interview with The Punch said his engagement with his students convinced him that youths were generally apathetic towards politics in Nigeria. He noted that to be able to preach what he’s teaching, he realised he had to find a way to make his students do the needful and perform their civic responsibility.
“Getting a PVC and voting during elections is part of one’s civic responsibility. As somebody that teaches politics, I should be able to, in one way or the other, force students, somehow, to perform that civic responsibility. And the first step is for them to have PVC. After that, we will deal with whether or not they will vote. So, that was what informed my decision.
“Continuous Assessment Test in UNN is 30 marks; the exam is 70 marks. It is left to the lecturer that teaches the course to decide how to allocate the marks. It will be as the spirit leads. If I am directed to use everything as CA, I will gladly do so. It is not a bad idea at all.”
No PVC, no concert attendance
Ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and its partners unveiled the Youth Vote Count Mega Concert. The event which held on Saturday, June 11th at Tafawa Balewa Square has the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) or the Temporary Voter’s slip as the pass for attendance.
This is to encourage young citizens to participate in the electoral process. Mr Macaroni, Falz and Waje are also on the frontline of this advocacy.