An independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to new registrants, ahead of the governorship election in Anambra.
Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, made the call in the fourth Watching the Vote (WTV), pre-election report in Awka on Sunday.
Mbamalu said: “Yiaga commends INEC for its efforts to distribute the PVCs from previous registrations.
“However, we are worried that, with less than few days to the election, the commission has yet to commence distribution of the PVCs to the 76,104 newly eligible voters.
“These are voters who recently got registered during the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the state.
“This, if not addressed, could potentially disenfranchise eligible voters.”
Mbamalu said that insecurity had continued to remain a major threat to the election.
According to her, the current situation of insecurity in the state has hindered political party campaigns, voter education and mobilisation. as stakeholders continue to exercise more caution.
She urged election stakeholders to continue to show determination to ensure credible and peaceful conduct of the election.
“Security agencies should partner civil society organisations to promote activities and initiatives that would increase citizens’ confidence and encourage participation in the election.
“Political party candidates and supporters should ensure they promote a peaceful election and encourage citizens to collect their PVCs to vote.
“And the citizens should understand that voting in elections is the legitimate means of making citizens’ voices heard, as well as voting in desirable leaders,” she said.