Women have been called upon to take full advantage of the ongoing voters registration exercise across the country so as to vote in leaders that will support their aspirations. In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta, urged women, especially those in the rural areas and in the working class in urban centres to prioritise obtaining the Permanent Voters Card.
She reiterated the recent declaration of women supporting the country to be restructured , stating that obtaining the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is the first step to women returning persons interested in restructuring and voting in, even more of those who want to see a new Nigeria. She equally stressed the need for girls who turn 18 this year and other women qualified to vote, to make out time to register at INEC designated centres.
She maintained that women can only speak on developmental challenges that affect their communities, such as corruption, unemployment and poverty, by getting PVCs to vote those who can address these issues. Ekpere-Eta commended INEC for ensuring that the voter registration campaign hasn’t been disrupted. She however appealed to the commission to look into removing the bottle-necks in the registration process, which has led to complaints by intending voters, adding that women many of whom juggle the roles of contributor to the income of their families as well as homemaker are most affected by delays in the registration process.
“From data obtained by NCWD, there has been a large turn out of women at registration centres. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement in terms of the number of those who complete the process and obtain their PVCs. “This appeal that women go out to get their names into the voters register is very important, judging by the fact that we women constitute about 50 percent of the country’s population and we have to invest in the future of our children by voting for preferred candidates for different positions at all levels of government.
“Women should always remember that they can only place the right individuals in office using their PVCs”, the statement read. Ekpere-Eta, further explained to intending female voters, that they have up to November to register to vote. She cited Section 9 (5) of the Electoral Act (as amended), which states that the continuous voter registration exercise must be temporarily suspended, 60 days to the commencement of the next general elections scheduled for February 2019.
The exercise will resume after the conclusion of the elections. Recall that INEC had on 27th April 2017, commenced on the continuous voter registration exercise across the country. INEC stated that it was intended to afford all eligible Nigerians, 18 years and above who did not register in previous exercises the opportunity to do so at their convenience.
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