Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi has urged university authorities to give students a break to travel home or to destinations that they registered to vote in the February 25 and March 11 elections.
This is as he has raised concerns over the failure of some Nigerians to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards ( PVCs).
He stated this during a meeting with observers from the European Union Election Observation Mission EU-EOM Monday evening.
In recent weeks, students and parents have complained that due to eight months strike by university lecturers most of them were home and registered outside their campuses and needed a break to travel home to register.
Obi while answering a question on the fate of about 3.5 million students feared to lose their rights to exercise their franchise owing to crowded academic fixtures like examinations and tests fixed during the election dates said: “I am sure INEC will do the right thing. I am sure the universities will give them the break to go and vote. It is important because it is about their future This election is about these young people and I’m sure they will allow them to go and vote. We will continue to mention it to them as we go along.”
On the challenges being witnessed on some areas by voters in collecting their PVCs, he said: “For me now, what is important is ensuring that people collect their PVCs. There are some areas where people are still complaining that they are being denied their PVCs for one reason or the other. INEC must give them attention. But I must give INEC credit for extending the date for the collection of PVC but again I urge them to ensure that people collect their PVC. This election is very important to Nigerians. It is an existential election. We want all those that have registered to participate.”
National Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure also spoke on the implications of not allowing the youths to vote.
“It is the young ones that bear the brunt of maladministration, so this election is about them. When the voter registration was on going, most of the university students were at home and they did their registration at home. Right now they are in school and if they remain in school during the election, it means they will be denied the opportunity to vote. So we are asking that a one week break should be given as holiday to enable them to go and vote. You would have excluded them if they have their PVCs and are not in the place where they can use it to vote.
“Generally, the country is insecure. We want the security to improve before and during the election because if security is not guaranteed we may have a situation were legitimate voters may be afraid to come out on the election days to vote. So there must be assurances that security will be beefed up. So we need the security agencies, the commander in chief to continuously give the assurances that security will be guaranteed on that day.”
Source: The Sun