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Nigeria no longer needs PVCs for elections –Yiaga Africa

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Samson Itodo, the executive director of Yiaga Africa, has said with the introduction of the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS), there is no need to use Permanent Voters Card (PVC) during elections.

He disclosed this while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics about the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections later in the year.

Itodo said BIVAS should have cancelled out the use of PVC in the country’s elections, calling for electoral laws to be updated to capture the new realities.

He raised a concern that most of the 269,000 intending voters who recently registered might not get their PVCs before the elections in Edo and Ondo.

He posited that once a voter has any means of identification be it National Identity Card, driving licence or passport, and their name is on the register, they should be able to vote.

“In the 2023 elections, there were people who registered and could not collect their PVCs before the elections so they could not vote and that is an infringement on the right of those people.

“This whole process where we disenfranchise people on the basis of not securing a PVC, not because of their own doing but because there are some logistical issues on the part of the electoral commission, so these people don’t cast their votes.

“We have been advocating that we don’t need PVCs anymore for elections. I don’t understand why we are using the PVCs for election when we have a BIVAS that functions optimally for voters accreditation.

“If your details are already on BIVAS, you can show up with any means of identification and cast your vote,” Itodo said.

The record shows that 67 per cent of the new registrants are within the 18-34 age bracket but Itodo lamented that most Nigerian youths do not participate in the election process.

He said many factors were responsible for the low turnout of youths, including insecurity and lack of trust in the electoral process.

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