Posted by News Express | 20 January 2015 | 3,298 times
The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared that failure of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide him his Permanent Voter Card (PVC) might disenfranchise him and millions other Nigerians.
Abubakar told President Goodluck Jonathna, while receiving him in his palace during his political rally in the ancient city.
He asked Jonathan to ensure that INEC provides all eligible voters with their cards before the elections as well as ensure that government takes steps to respect the people’s wishes by delivering credible, free and fair elections.
He said: “Let’s respect people’s wishes; let’s not try to disenfranchise anybody. We have had issues of the PVCs and I want to tell you that even myself, I don’t have a PVC, so it means I will not vote on February 14.
“So, we have to look for a way out. It is for your government to now look for what to do; how to ensure that all the cards get to the voters before the voting day or in the alternative, find a way out because in any problem there is a solution and we believe you will find solutions as regard this very serious hitch facing us because millions of Nigerians seem to be heading towards disenfranchisement and they won’t be able to vote but I have heard comments from the INEC Chairman. We are still waiting for our cards to come.”
The Sultan said the difficulties in obtaining the PVC was one of the challenges bothering him and other leaders as it appeared millions of Nigerians would be disenfranchised during this year’s general elections.
The Muslim leader condemned the religious colouration being given to this year’s campaigns and called on politicians to rather focus on issues.
He noted that because of the country’s diversity, it was not “possible” for elections in Nigeria to be all about religion.
Sultan said: “They will come to seek the votes of the common man … but they will not see you again for four years but we have the privilege of seeing you everyday and maybe every time and we always express to you the problems of our people.”
He challenged all politicians to not only abide by the Abuja Peace Accord between President Jonathan and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari and 12 others, but also ensure that their various supporters at all levels get the message and behave accordingly.
Excerpted from Vanguard
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