INEC registers 5,000 voters at TBS, as youths scramble for PVCs

THE chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said the commission registered 5,000 voters in the last one week at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.

Mahmood, who addressed a mammoth crowd at an event tagged, ‘Youth Vote Count 2.0 Mega concert’, on June 11, 2022, said the turnout had been enormous, and had led to a change of strategy involving the deployment of more machinery to assist the process.

He said, “I want to assure you that you will have your PVCs. In the last week, we registered over 5,000 people here. Instead of everyone coming to TBS, you will register in 20 centres across LGAs in Lagos. There will be more machines to be deployed all over Lagos from next week.”

He told the crowd that the commission had not yet decided if the voting process would be extended by month-end. He promised to communicate the decision soon to the crowd.

Many youths defied the rains to attend the event with the hope of collecting their permanent voter cards (PVC) ahead of the 2023 general elections. There were hundreds of them in and around the square.

Some of them spoke to The ICIR, narrating their motivations for coming out to go through the process.

'Youth Vote Count 2.0 Mega concert’ 2023 General Elections INEC
Some of the youths with their umbrellas at the event. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR

Akinbinu Daniel said he was frustrated with the whole polity and was in the rains to support a youth-led movement.

Daniel said, “I came to get my PVC today because it is time for the youths to take over. I am tired of the negative vibes the leaders have been giving us. We all need to take charge and this is the only way I can be heard.”

He said he was motivated via social media photos to join other youths to obtain his PVC. This made him leave Ikorodu for TBS in the hope of starting the process.

“I don’t care about how long it will take. I just want my voice to be heard, ” he added.

Felix Obinna, another prospective voter who spoke to our correspondent, said he hoped to support the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the polls next year. He added that he had completed the online registration and what remained was to get the card from his preferred local government.

Obinna said, “I am not tribalistic. I just want to vote for someone that has the power to rescue Nigerians from their present state right now. I am not for any party. I am going to vote for Peter Obi. It is possible if everyone can come together and vote for the man.”

Halimat Kuye was undecided about a presidential candidate, but expressed her support for the All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Kuye said, “I will vote for Tinubu because he has knowledge about strategy in politics. No youth has really come out to contest the presidential election though youths have been encouraged to vote.”

She hoped to complete her registration with the biometrics.




    'Youth Vote Count 2.0 Mega concert’ 2023 General Elections INEC
    Comedian Macaroni thrilling the crowd at the event. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR

    Yakubu urged youths not to be violent while going through the PVC registration process, as he assured them that their votes would count.

    The commission, in a statement, acknowledged the surge in the number of prospective voters, describing it as “overwhelming.”

    The statement, signed by the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye, said INEC had deployed additional 209 machines to the five Southeastern states, Lagos, and Kano, where the commission regarded the pressure as “most acute.”

    The ‘Youth Vote Count 2.0 Mega concert’ was geared towards creating awareness of the need for youths to register and vote in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

    Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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