Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has charged its members to intensify effort towards the collection of their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) so as to actively participate in the process billed for next year.
Answering questions from journalists at the end of a three-day conference, the Metropolitan of Calabar Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem called on bishops to go for their PVCs so as not to disenfranchise themselves.
Ekuwen stated that the card was the only strength given to Nigerians of voting age by the Constitution to exercise their franchise, saying that it was one of the responsibilities which all right-thinking citizens could not afford to toy with.
The cleric maintained that the era when people sit at home and grumble that wrong individuals had been elected into positions of authority without their consent was over, adding that it was through the possession of the PVCs that citizens become eligible to participate in the political process.
He warned that those who failed to avail themselves of the opportunity of collecting their PVCs from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not cry foul of being schemed out from the political process when activities for electioneering process commences, but blame themselves for failing to heed to the clarion call.
“How many of us have the voter’s card? How prepared are we amidst criss-crossing/cross carpeting of our politicians who move from one political party to another and back to the same political party that they dumped sometime ago? How many of us have gotten our permanent voter’s cards (PVCs)?”, he asked.
“We hear of decamping on daily basis, does it in any way add value to the socio-political economy of our nation? Does it make political life in Nigeria better than before? These are issues that are worrisome to this conference.
“We cannot sit at home and fold our hands, and fail to do the needful so that we can participate in the electoral process, only to look for who to blame when the process to elect our leaders commences”, he said.
Other issue, which the cleric claimed was worrisome, was the use of youth for political thuggery during electioneering to destabilize the process.
They, therefore, called on parents to advise their wards not to allow themselves to be used by “political godfathers.”
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar