BENIN – Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo has described the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) as instruments of reward for elected public officers based on their performance.
Oshiomhole said this on Saturday in Iyamho, near Auchi, Edo, shortly after collecting his card at his polling unit in Ward 10, Unit 1.
He said the PVC was a horse whip that could be used to encourage or punish elected public officers and their political parties, based on their performance.
He said the purpose of the card was to enable registered voters to elect people in trust to lead and represent them, and if the electorate were not satisfied with their performance, could “fire’’ them in subsequent elections.
He further said that voting during elections justified a major reason why Nigerians should have the card.
He noted that the people of the state were enthusiastic about collecting their cards because they wanted to have the power to reward or punish elected officers.
He also said the card was a master card that would enable registered voters across the country to exercise their franchise in the forth coming elections and subsequent ones beyond 2015.
He noted that the card was a general purpose instrument for all elections, local government elections inclusive, advising that every citizen in the country of voting age should have it.
Commenting on the turnout of registered voters who had came out to collect their cards, the governor said that he was impressed and also commended the ad hoc staff of INEC for sticking to the rules.
“ I am encouraged by the turn out, and I also commend members of the National Youth Service Corps, who are being used to distribute the PVCs.
“ You can see that they are sticking to the rules, because I came to collect my PVC but forgot my temporary card at home; they didn’t give me my PVC until I sent somebody home to get the initial card.’’
The governor, who noted that reports of hitches in some areas had reached him, however, expressed the belief that INEC would take steps to address the issues.
He said that before the end of the exercise, both INEC and the political parties would reconcile if the number of cards available tallied with the number of registered voters in the 2, 627 polling units across the state.
Oshiomhole said that the Edo Government had advised for a meeting between INEC and the political parties in the state, to resolve any hitch that occurred.
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Baritor Kpagih, acknowledged some hitches in the exercise.
He, however, commended the response of the people of the state to the exercise.
He criticised the attitude of the people of Etsakor in Edo North Senatorial Zone to the exercise, saying they were not organised.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the issuance of the PVCs began on Friday in Edo.
The state government declared the day a public holiday to enable workers and registered voters to participate in the exercise. (NAN)