Some major paramilitary groups in Edo State have called on youths and women especially, to come out massively to register, and ensure they pick up their PVCs.
They explained that the 2023 general elections is close and there is need for every eligible person to register and collect their PVCs to be able to vote for leaders that can change Nigeria.
The groups made the disclosure when they embarked on a peace protest march to the Edo State NUJ Council premises after their keep fit morning exercise in Benin City.
Spokesperson for the groups, the Edo State commander, Man O War, Odune Eberechukwu, said youths should register for their PVCs to vote in the best leaders that would change Nigeria.
Eberechukwu who is also the Edo State commander and coordinator NAUVO, also advised the youths to be security conscious about their lives and communities.
He explained:”This morning our officers and men of the National Association of Uniform Volunteering Organisations (NAUVO), we are in collaboration with several uniformed volunteering bodies in Edo State and Nigeria.
“For the Edo State chapter, we are made up of organisations like the Scout, the Red Cross Society, the Man O’ War, the Royal Ambassadors, the Intelligent Guild and any other groups.
“In recent times, we have observed that there is actually a low turn-out when it comes to registering for the permanent voters cards, PVCs, when it comes to elections. We don’t really know what led to it. Maybe many of them have actually lost faith in the nation.
He pointed out that youth believe in migration. They believe that the mass exodus or migration to other countries is the only way out whereas, the nations that they are migrating to are also built by young people.
“That is why we came out this morning after our fitting exercise to contribute our own quota to the development of our country, Nigeria. The population of the country is made up of majorly the youths, and they should come out enmass to register for their PVCs, and come out on the day of the polls and vote for credible leaders they feel can take Nigeria to the dream of the nation”.
He urged the youth to take up the challenge because only Nigerians can rebuild the country.
“Nigeria can only be built by Nigerians. Nigeria cannot be built by the Western world. It would take sacrifice for Nigerians to build Nigeria. That is why we come together from various organizations to sensitize the public”.
He also called for collective approach towards ending insecurity in the country.
“In the area of security, we all must collectively protect our country. Security is not meant for government alone. If all the bodies, groups, associations and other people sensitize their groups, there will be security consciousness in our environments and the nation.
“We advise Nigerians to protect their various communities for first-hand information thereby relating it to other groups, so that they will be security awareness in our country”.
The paramilitary leader stressed that 2023 elections must be violence free. “We want to also stress that the 2023 elections should not be violent, that is why we want theyouths to go and register and collect their PVCs.”
Responding to the group, the Assistant Secretary of the Edo State NUJ, on behalf of the the Chairman, Festus Alenkhe, and the entire members of the Union, Comrade Elvis Edo Omoregie assured them that their message will be spread and disseminate to the general public.
He also cautioned them that, the NUJ as a body would do its best to equally sensitize the people, particularly the youths and women to go and register for the PVCs, and ensure they collect it for the purpose of the 2023 general polls.
In a related development, the INEC electoral officer for Edo State has decried the low collection of PVCs in the state. He disclosed that out of 30, 979 Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs people have registered, only 1, 348 have so far been collected.
The commission’s officer in charge of voter education, Mr. Timidi Wariowei, made the statement in Benin city, at the weekend.
Said he, “As at January 2022, we had a total of 30, 979 PVCs for distribution and collection but of this number, only 1,348 have been collected by their owners.”