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2023: Why Northerners Are Selling Their PVCs – Northern Elders




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The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has confirmed reports that many Northerners, especially women, were selling their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to politicians and political parties.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had raised an alarm over the sale of PVCs in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, Baba-Ahmed, said poverty was responsible for the insidious act, adding that the PVC trade for money was an attempt to reduce the voting strength of the North.

The NEF spokesperson called on INEC and state governments to intensify public awareness campaign against the act.

He said: “Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed what the public has been aware of in the last few weeks. This is the widespread and targeted buying of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in many parts of the North and a few other parts of Nigeria. Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had followed this worrying phenomenon, advising community leaders and major stakeholders on the dangers of disenfranchising large numbers of citizens. We have also undertaken our own investigations, which prompt this public warning.

“Thousands, or possibly even millions of northern voters, particularly women, are being made to surrender their PVCs for a pittance, in most instances not more than N2,000. In some instances they are told their cards will be returned to them after they are processed for additional payments as poverty relief. No cards are retuned.

“Our investigations suggest that this an aggressive and blatant voter suppression attempt to reduce the voting powers of the North. We have been assured by INEC that this practice in itself will not compromise its systems and processes. People who are involved in this practice appear to be working for different parties, but they target communities where they assume their parties or candidates have comparative advantages or disadvantages.

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“NEF advises registered voters not to part with their PVCs under any circumstances. Irrespective of which party or candidate they support, Northerners must vote in the forthcoming elections, as this is the only way our region can reverse its current fortunes and circumstances. To sell your card now, or sell your vote in next year’s elections is to betray your responsibility to improving our circumstances and future. Every Northerner should know that our voting population and turnout during elections are the only powers we have left, but we can use them to affect who will lead us at the next elections. Voters from other parts of the country are jealously guarding their voting opportunities. Our relative poverty now is no excuse to surrender the opportunity to improve our future.”

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