Chief Charles Udeogaranya, a former presidential aspirant, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to withdraw all legal defense and allow registered voters, whom INEC were unable to provide with their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), to use their Government-issued photo ids like the National Drivers Licence – NDL, International Passport, and National ID card/slip in lieu of PVC captured by BVAS.
The Ex-Presidential aspirant posits that since Section 118 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had already empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the registration of voters, the direction, supervision, and conduct of elections. The commission, therefore, lacks any tenable excuse to withhold voters registered by the Commission with verifiable Government-issued photo ids, not to exercise their civic right to vote in an election conducted by the same commission.
Udeogaranya underscored that this position to allow registered voters without PVC to vote in the upcoming election is further enhanced by Section 10 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022, which recognizes the importance of these Government-issued photo IDs as means of identification in the continuous voter registration and legitimizes their use in election accreditation process under Section 47 of the Electoral Act 2022, which should rightly be amended to reflect the congruence.
In another slew, the Ex-presidential aspirant, reminded INEC, that voter disenfranchisement is a sacrilege, infringement on the rights of millions of Nigerians, and abdication of constitutional responsibility that must not be committed by the commission, particularly when registered voters have visited collection points several times and the commission is still unable to deliver PVCs to their registered voters, as it is rampant in Lagos State and in some other places in Nigeria.