2019 IS AROUND THE CORNER AND THE MOMENT FOR EVERY NIGERIAN TO CAST VOTES WOULD SOON BE UPON US.
On the 27th of April 2017, the voter’s registration exercise commenced in Nigeria and almost a year and 4 months later we still have very long queues at the PVC (Permanent Voter’s Card) registration points. I have yet to research on who this categorically speaks to, whether it’s the government being lackadaisical towards work or the voter’s being nonchalant themselves. Whichever might be the cause of the problem is not the focus of this article; we have seen insane things happen on these queues now that the government has threatened to close the exercise at the end of the month and that’s the focus.
I never knew that a lot of Nigerians are patriotic. Visit any of the registration points at 5am any day of the week and you will be amazed at the number of people who got there before you. I wonder if they pitch a tent there waiting for the government officials to arrive. I’m aware that Nigerians wake up pretty early on a daily basis due to the hustle and bustle to make ends meet, but to think they will do that to perform this particular duty is interesting. Although I’m aware that there are those who just want to get the PVC as an alternate form of identification so they can carry out certain transaction but the number of those who actually are there because they want to vote when the time comes out weighs the former. This puts one question in my heart, why do Nigerians like to wait until the last minute before they take action?
When the government officials eventually arrive, they make it clear that they will not be able to attend to everyone and then they find a means to select the exact number of those whom they intend to attend to. You should see the battle for selection among voters, you would think that the country is a piece of land that belongs to you and someone else is trying to sell it. Onetime while surveying the happenings on the queue, I found myself having to separate two guys who seemed like they had sworn to be enemies for life. The only problem was that one of the guys stepped in front of the other and he was downright displeased.
There certainly would have been a better way to get these registrations done instead of having faithful Nigerians standing under the blazing sun for hours and having vocal confrontation with one another. For instance, every Nigerian who owns a bank account has a Bank Verification Number (BVN) which could double as a social security number; the government could have used the banks, this way people can just walk into their individual banks and pick up the cards with ease. It will also curb the issue of multiple registrations as everyone has a unique BVN.
Also, the issue of under aged (illegal) voters would not arise because the banks would already have the ages of its customer. I know that there are those who would not want to queue up to get their voter’s card; especially the A-class of the society, this alternative strategy would have catered for them as well.
We are aware that there are those who are displeased with the activities surrounding the PVC registration processes, nevertheless, Nigerians everywhere should step out in mass to undergo the registration process so that when 2019 come we would all have the power to direct our own future.
So, GO GET YOUR PVC.