From the 7th of November 2014, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will distribute permanent voter’s card to eligible voters in Rivers State.
This is to enable voters to participate in next year’s general elections and the preparedness of the people will depend on the smooth conduct of the exercise.
It is obvious that eligible Nigerians cannot perform their civic responsibilities during the election without possessing this permanent voter’s card. This card will be electronically confirmed on the Election Day as true and genuine before the voter can cast his vote.
When Professor Atahiru Jega was appointed the chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2010, he led the commission to register eligible voters for the 2010 general elections. Then, the voters used the temporary voter’s card to expressed their will on who become their political representatives. That election was adjudged one of the best elections in the history of Nigeria’s election.
After that election, the commission has promised to distribute the permanent voter’s cards and it started the process in phases with pairing of states within geo-political regions in the country, since the beginning of 2014. With few months away to the general elections in 2015, Rivers State appears to be among states scheduled for the last lap to have the cards distributed to eligible voters.
There are sensitization rallies organized by the resident electoral commissioner of INEC in Rivers State. The train is determined to tour the 23 local government areas in the state. It hopes to arouse enthusiasm among the people to participate in the exercise.
Already, the chair of Obio-Akpor Local Government area, Lawrence Chuku has declared Friday, 7th November 2014 as public holiday to enable its workers to participate in the weekend exercise that will end on the 9th.
However, there are worries expressed by members of the public over the smooth conduct of the exercise. They agreed that it will promote good governance but cautioned politicians against using the exercise to heat up the polity. While suing for a credible election to be conducted next year, they wondered why additional thirty thousand polling units were created nationwide by INEC.
There is a palpable fears among electorates that the three days set apart for the distribution of the cards will not be enough for all eligible voters to get their cards.
Rivers State Resident Electoral commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Ikowak has allayed the fears and assured that the process of collecting the cards is a continues one as voters can go to their various local government headquarters after the three day exercise to collect their cards.