The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has stressed the importance of encouraging over three million eligible Nigerian students to participate in the upcoming presidential election. Obi expressed his concerns about the possibility of students missing out on the exercise due to the lack of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and the inability of some Nigerians in certain states, particularly Lagos, to collect their PVCs.
Obi made these comments while meeting with a delegation of European Union Election Observers (EU-EOM) on Monday. When asked about the fate of 3.5 million students who may not be able to exercise their voting rights if a one-week holiday is not granted to enable them to return to their area of registration, Obi said, “I am sure the universities will give them the break to go and vote. It is important because it is about their future and I’m sure they will allow them to go and vote.”
Obi also addressed the challenges faced by some voters in collecting their PVCs, stating, “What is important now is ensuring that people collect their PVCs.” He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend their efforts to ensure that people collect their PVCs and emphasized the importance of this election to Nigerians.
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, also spoke about the challenges and said, “It is the young ones that bear the brunt of maladministration, so this election is about them.” He emphasized the need for a one-week break for students to enable them to go and vote and for improved security both before and during the election to ensure that legitimate voters are not afraid to come out and vote.
EU-EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, stated that their visit was a routine one aimed at interacting with leading presidential candidates and other stakeholders in the February 25th presidential election. He said that they are trying to develop a picture of transparency, inclusivity, and credibility of the election and will report their findings two days after the election in a preliminary report at a press conference on February 27th