By Ibrahim Adeleke
The national leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said he was wring with his statement on ‘expiry’ date of Permanent Voter Card (PVC), saying it was a slip.
Tinubu had made the claim while addressing women leaders of the APC who paid him a visit in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The former governor of Lagos State also lamented that there had been a decline in the number of eligible voters in recent times.
Reacting, Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof Bolade Eyinla, stated that PVCs previously registered remain valid.
This is as he advised those who already have PVCs not to bother about registering for another one.
“This information is not correct. The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains valid. This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations.”
However, Tinubu’s media office offered a clarification on Wednesday night in a statement issued by his media adviser, Tunde Rahman.
The statement reads: “On Tuesday night in Abuja, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu granted audience to a delegation of women from Lagos and across the country attending the All Progressives Congress Women Conference.
“While charging the women to check the status of their voting cards and mobilise supporters to vote, he mistakenly used the word ‘expire’ instead of stating that the cards may have to be updated.
“Immediately upon being apprised of this, Asiwaju apologised for the incorrect statement and felt sorry for any confusion it may have caused.
“Asiwaju Tinubu also stressed that he appreciates the patriotic and necessary work of INEC and its personnel in assuring a free and fair electoral process for all Nigerians in all political parties.
“At the meeting convened at the behest of the women, Asiwaju emphasized the need for people to fully participate in elections so we strengthen our democracy. He urged them to continue to mobilise voters to update their PVCs and help thwart the prevailing voter-apathy. Women must mobilise heavily to reverse the trend, he said.
“The gap between those who registered for elections and those who usually turned up to pick their PVCs was wide, adding that such constitutes a serious challenge, which may impede the growth of our democracy.
“Asiwaju Tinubu would like to reiterate this call to women to mobilise at the grassroots levels so that elections reflect the sovereign will of all the people for a true democracy to be established.
“He enjoins them to review their voting details with INEC so that these details will be updated before the coming elections.”