The Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has described citizens’ reluctance to exercise their franchise rights during elections as a trend that must be tamed by stakeholders, saying it portends grave danger to electoral growth.
Oyebanji who praised the people of the state for trooping out to collect their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to participate in the 2023 impending polls, described the public holiday declared by the government, on Tuesday, as a huge success, due to the impressive turnout recorded.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Mrs Monisade Afuye, said this on Tuesday when she visited INEC offices to monitor compliance with the directive of the state government
The INEC local government headquarters visited included that of Ikere, Ado, Aramoko, and Ido Ekiti.
Afuye while addressing the electorates maintained that collection of PVCs is one of the ways to strengthen the country’s electoral system, saying no nation experiencing voter apathy can grow and develop.
She said: “Governor Oyebanji has demonstrated leadership by declaring today (Tuesday) a public holiday for you to collect your PVCs. It is good that you have come in large numbers. It is for your own benefit, but some don’t value it.
“We are moving round so that the purpose for which this holiday was declared will be met and we have no reason to regret with the population of registrants that we are seeing at all INEC offices that I have visited.”
She further stated: “This year’s elections are very important to us in Ekiti and Southwest and poor interest to vote will not help our cause. We also commend the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission for making themselves available for this exercise.
“You should not only collect these PVCs, come out on the day of elections and vote, this is the best way for you and I to build our nation”.
The INEC Electoral Officer, Ido/Osi Local Government, Mr Chris Ogunmakinwa, applauded the state government for declaring a public holiday for the collection of PVCs.
Ogunmakinwa said the gesture has helped in increasing the number of PVCs seekers considering the large number of registrants that besieged the INEC office.