The President of the South-South community in the FCT, Mr Lawrence Alobi, has urged Nigerians to endeavour to collect their permanent voter card in the upcoming voter registration exercise.
Alobi made the call on Saturday in Abuja at a forum to sensitise the public to participate in the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
He said the exercise, which holds from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17, would help to achieve credible elections in the country in 2015.
Alobi said credible elections would make Nigeria a shining star of democracy on the continent.
“This sensitisation meeting is to inform and educate our people on the need to imbibe the democratic culture by ensuring that their names are on the register on election day.
“Nations are not built by governments but by people, and so we must come together to make our country the shining star of democracy in Africa,’’ he said.
Alobi urged Nigerians to eschew religious and ethnic bigotry and imbibe the second part of the national anthem which reads “where peace and justice reigns’’.
He charged the media to sensitise the public to living in peace in order to accelerate development and help Nigeria be the true giant of Africa.
Mr Oluwole Osazie-Uzzi, the INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, said the period for the collection of PVCs would be three days in all registration centres.
The INEC official, who was the guest speaker at the event, added that the cards’ issuance would continue after Aug. 17 in the area councils or local government offices.
“You have to collect the cards personally. Do not send anyone because you will have to submit your temporary card and thumbprint. You cannot thumbprint for someone else.
“If your card is not there, you will be given an attestation form to fill after which you will affix a passport photograph and submit. All processes are also free,’’ Osazie-Uzzi explained.
He said considerations were given for those without a temporary voter card or turned 18 after the 2011 elections or were indisposed or out of town during the process.
The INEC official said those in such a category could register during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
“The CVR begins on Aug. 20 and ends on Aug. 25, and anyone who falls into that category can register.
“But people should realise that double registration is a punishable crime that carries a fine or jail term, or both,’’ he said