- Nigerians across the country especially in Abuja, the capital city have been encouraged to ensure they register for their Permanent Voters' Card
- The encouragement was handed to citizens by the European Union and its partner during the flag-off of the Youth Vote Count Mega Music Concert in the city
- According to the organisers of the concert, Nigerians will have the opportunity to register for the PVCs and meet their favourite celebrities at the venue of the event
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday, June 21, said it has deployed 150 staff to the Old Parade Ground in Abuja, the venue of the Youth Vote Count Mega Music Concert.
Yahaya Bello, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC 150 staff of the commission will man several registration machines also deployed to the arena to capture data and biometrics of all eligible voters for the concert.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, Bello said the commission is prepared to ensure that all eligible voters who make it to the Mega Music concert are registered for the processing of their Permanent Voters' Card (PVC).
The Youth Vote Count Mega Music Concert is an event organised by INEC in partnership with Yiaga Africa and funded by the European Union.
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The show which kicked off on Monday, June 20 will end Saturday, June 25, with the Mega Music Concert featuring several celebrities.
It is free and the only gate fee any eligible Nigerian needs to show is their PVC or Temporary Voters Card, those who do not have one can be registered at the concert.
Addressing the issue of collection of PVCs, Bello said that those who had done their registration earlier can collect their cards while those who are just registering for the first, transferring or replacing their lost cards can pick theirs up in January 2023.
Court's order asking INEC to extend registration of PVC
Reacting to the court order asking INEC to extend the June 30 deadline for the registration of PVCs for Nigerians, Rotimi Oyekamni, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said that the commission has a history of complying with court orders.
"The commission has a history of complying with the court order, that I can assure you. I understand from the court papers that the commission was asked to come on the 29th of this month to give the court and submit certain documents.
"We are going to do that, but remember that once a matter is in court, it is subjudice to talk on it."
The EU and hope for Nigerian youth
Also speaking, the program manager at EU, Olaolu Olawunmi said the Mega Music Concert is aimed at connecting young people to being more proactive to issues of governance.
Olawunmi said the concert is expected to help attain a shift in the culture of the young people and make politics and governance attractive to the demographic.
Noting that a similar event was held at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, Olawunmi the EU is encouraging the youth to not only register for their PVCs but also ensure they collect the cards when they are ready and head to the poll to vote with it.
"The European Union has been a strong, major partner of the Nigerian government, particularly since the return to democracy in 1999.
And we have quite an array of programmes in our development cooperation portfolio, and this is one of our flagship programmes.
"The program is fully funded by the European but the good thing about it is that it is locally driven and we are trying to bring civically-cultured celebrities, influencers, and bloggers; bring them together to help us speak to young people on how to get their PVCs."
Some of the celebrities expected at the concert on Saturday, June include Kizz Daniel, who will headline the show, MI, Teni the Entertainer, Tubaba, Falz, Patoranking, Mayorkun, Omawunmi and actors like Chioma Chukwuka, Mr Macaroni, KieKie.
Others are Waje, Patoranking, Skiibii, Ashake, Small Doctor, Falz and Bella Shmurda, Ufuoma McDermott, Chioma Akpotha, Uti Nwachukwu, Uche Jombo, Lasisi. Elenu, KieKie, Real Warri Pikin, and Omoni Oboli.
Hope for Nigerians as court stops INEC from ending voters' registration
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon in the court's ruling granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on motion ex-parte by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The electoral body had stated that the voters' registration exercise would end on Thursday, June 30, to allow the commission to clean up its database ahead of the general election scheduled to take place in 2023.
2 INEC staff in trouble as commission takes strong decision over extortion during PVC registration exercise
The INEC had queried two of its staff for demanding and collecting bribes from Permanent Voters' Card registrants.
INEC's administrative secretary made the announcement in a press statement dated Thursday, June 17.
According to the commission, the two staff have been withdrawn from the field and their replacements deployed to the Oju local government area of Benue state.