Wednesday, January 7, 2015 10:55 pm
All registered eligible voters must get their permanent voters cards to enable them vote in the general election scheduled for next month, President Goodluck Jonathan directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Wednesday.
The President who spoke while swearing in the new INEC National Commissioner representing Oyo State, Akinola Salau, added that he was surprised that governors are also complaining of their inability to get their voter cards.
He promised that he will ensure that no eligible Nigerian voter is disenfranchised.
“If governors are yet to get their voters cards, of course that means that so many Nigerians are yet to get and people are a bit worried,” the President said at the ceremony which was also witnessed by Professor Attahiru Jega, the chairman of INEC.
“So the chairman of INEC, luckily you are here… all Nigerians must get voters cards, we cannot conduct an election where some people will not have the rights to vote,” the President said turning to the INEC Chairman.
“People must decide who rules them at all levels not just about presidential elections, at the lowest level of elections conducted by INEC – the state assembly elections, House of Representatives, Senate and Presidency. All Nigerians must vote and INEC must do everything possible to make sure that all Nigerians have their voters card because we cannot a situation where some Nigerians will not vote that day,” he added.
The President however attributed the keenness with which Nigerians are demanding for the PVCs to the success of electoral reforms of his administration.
“I am quite pleased because before 2011, no Nigerian will complain about voter cards and that’s why when some politicians talk I just laugh. Before 2011 how many Nigerians complained about not having voters card because elections were not conducted with voters’ cards,” said Jonathan.
“Nobody cared, we are all adults in Nigeria and we knew what was happening. But some people came on board and sanitized the electoral process but others want to take the glory. We have to commend ourselves that today ordinary Nigerians, biggest business men, religious leaders are complaining I want my voters card,” said the President who described the new National Commissioner for Oyo State as a man of impeccable character.
“So Prof. We want to charge you to go and demonstrate clearly that you are somebody with an impeccable character and that you will do good to all Nigerians irrespective of anything,” the president said.
While speaking to journalists after the swearing in, the Chairman of INEC assured that all registered voters will get their PVC’s before 14 February when presidential polls, the first in the series of 2015 elections will hold.