The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has decried the non collection of Permanent Voter Card by eligible voters in the country, noting that greater percentage of the uncollected PVCs belonged to women.
The Director, Voter Education and Publicity of the Commission, Mr. OluwoleOsaze-Uzzi stated this at a workshop organized by the European Centre for Electoral Support in collaboration with INEC, for women participation in the continuous voter registration and collection of Permanent Voter’s Card in Enugu.
Mr. Osaze-Uzzi maintained that women constituted the greater percentage of voting population but had not been utilizing their strength, stressing the need for them to wake up from their political slumber.
In a remark, the representative of the European Centre for Electoral Support in Nigeria, Mrs Maria Teresa Mauro said the workshop was to raise the consciousness of women to participate actively in electoral process which she believed would deepen the value of the nation’s democracy.
Mrs Mauro regretted that women in Nigeria were most vulnerable during elections and called on the government to ensure adequate security to guarantee a level playing ground for women.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Onomammadu said more women had registered in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration in Enugu State but a lot needed to be done to ensure that the situation improved by 2019.
Other keynote speakers at the event,extolled the contributions of women in building a virile society and encouraged them to come out and take the front seat in electioneering.
Meanwhile,INEC has solicited the support of relevant stakeholders towards mobilizing eligible voters to participate actively in the continuous voter registration in Anambra State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji made the appeal during a meeting with Political Party Chairmen, Media Practitioners and Members of Civil Society Organizations at the INEC headquarters in Awka.
The meeting is one of the ways the commission designed to engage relevant stakeholders, as preparation for 2019 general election gathers momentum.
Dr Orji believed that the mobilization of the electorate in the electoral process by party chairmen, media practitioners, members of civil society organizations, traditional rulers and religious leaders would assist the commission in capturing many eligible voters in next year’s general election.
He expressed worry at the rate of political apathy in the state and called on all and sundry to partake in mobilizing eligible voters for the general election in the country.
Dr Orji also called on the media practitioners to initiate more enlightenment programmes that would educate the people on the need to get registered and also collect their permanent voter’s cards.
The PDP Chairman in the State, Chief NdubuisiNwobu advised the commission to engage the party chairmen in the distribution of permanent voter’s cards.
The director of News, Anambra State Broadcasting Service, Mr Gabriel Okpalaeze described the event as timely.
OBINNA OGBUKA&KEVIN EKEDIEGWU