By: Prudence Okonna

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has flagged off the sensitization of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) collection across the 858 communities of the six-Area Council of the FCT to ease the collection process for residents in time for the General elections.

The sensitization a project convened by the Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organization, (AOIYEO) in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is tagged “collect your PVC close to your ward” and is expected to last for two weeks. More importantly, it is to encourage the original inhabitants as well as residents in the FCT to collect their PVCs in time to vote during the February 25 general elections.

While flagging off the sensitization campaign, the Permanent Secretary FCT, Olusade Adesola, represented by the Mandate Secretary, Area Councils Services Secretariat, Ibrahim Abubakar Dantsoho said PVC collection is the first step to having a meaningful development in Nigeria.

In his words “when you show a lackadaisical attitude, you miss out on the opportunity to choose quality leaders”.

Adesola called on the youth to encourage every member of his or her community to take advantage of the timeline for PVC collection and collect theirs. He added that the FCT Administration would give all the necessary support to ensure that the process is seamless.

The convener of the project and Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Youth Matters, Isaac David said the essence of the sensitization is to ensure that no one is left out of the PVC collection process especially those at the grassroots. He added that without the PVC it is impossible to vote for credible leaders, emphasizing that politicians were only messengers of the people, and the electorates were only empowered when they have their PVCs at hand.

He explained that the sensitization carries everyone along including the religious bodies and will begin immediately from Abaji Area Council and two days are allocated to sensitize the people in each of the six area councils including the Abuja Municipal Area Council, (AMAC).

David thanked the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello for approving the project and providing all the needed support to see it to full implementation.

Speaking at the flag-off, a representative of the Minister of State, FCT, Aisha Baiyee, said the initiative is to encourage everyone to pick up their PVCs in the FCT, especially the original inhabitants of the FCT and women. She emphasized that women are builders of every nation as they have a critical role to play in the elections.

The project manager AOIYEO, Bitrus Lawrence Garki, said they had observed a heightened lack of interest among the FCT Original Inhabitants and the project will adequately sensitize the people on the importance of collecting their PVCs. He emphasized that the sensitization will be achieved through the youth representatives across the 62 wards of the 858 communities because the people are familiar with them.

Recall that INEC had extended the collection of PVC from January 22 to January 29, 2023. The commission explained that the extension of the period for collection is because of its determination to ensure that registered voters have more opportunities to collect their PVC ahead of the coming election.