Coalition for Peter Obi made up of 17 support groups on Friday warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against disenfranchising millions of Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The organization also called on the INEC to extend the deadline for collection of Permanent Voters Cards.
The CPO which said it had embarked on a massive voter education campaign, supporting citizens to register and collect their PVC online and at various INEC offices, said “reports nationwide show that INEC lacked the capacity to register the millions of Nigerians, especially youths with complaints that Nigerians spend hours waiting to be captured”.
The CPO in a statement by its Chairman, Marcel Ngogbehei, encouraged its members to embark on voter education, providing clear information on PVC registration and supporting the logistics to distribute millions of PVCs currently in INEC custody.
He listed the various groups involved in the voters’ sensitisation exercise and asked the public to volunteer or support with money and logistics, adding that this is a collective task.
Ngogbehei lamented the attitude of some INEC staff in various states, but also praised the dedication of its staff in many locations.
He said, “CPO estimates that one INEC machine can only register 1 person in 10mins, an average of 900 persons per month. Therefore, a Local Government Area with two INEC machines can only register 1800 persons per month if operating at 100 per cent capacity, but with the present capacity, INEC needs four years of continuous voters’ registration exercise to capture the millions of eligible Nigerians.
INEC is hereby advised to expand its logistics operations, establish mobile registration centres, strategically move registration centres to highly populated areas like markets, partner with market leaders to encourage PVC collection, send text messages to voters on their PVC collections, allow people to book online for PVC collections and consider senior citizens in their 80s or 90s that have mobility challenges.
INEC should start now to consider their stakeholders and implement strategies that will provide better customer value, unless they intend to disenfranchise millions of Nigerians who are eager to exercise their civic rights in the general elections.
“The commision should do everything possible to cater for thousands that are currently stranded trying to register in the various locations or in the alternative, expand its logistics and extend the deadline by 6 months.
“Nigerians must be given the opportunity to freely express their civic rights at this critical time of our nation’s history. As a Coalition for Peter Obi’s presidential ambition, we have embarked on voter education, PVC registration and support logistics to distribute the PVC across the length and breadth of this country and calls on the public to support the various groups.”
Ngogbehei listed the recognised Peter Obi Support Groups as follows: Peter Obi Support Network; Like Minds for Peter Obi; Nigeria Needs Peter Obi; TakeBackNaija; Women for Peter Obi; Associates of Peter Obi; Peter Obi FC; Peter Obi Movement for President and Peter Obi Candidacy Movement.
Others are Peter Obi Ambassadors; Team OHO; Nigerian Diasporas for Peter Obi (USA); Peter Obi National Mandate; Peter Obi for Good Governance; YES Peter Obi Support Group; Peter Obi to the RESCUE Group and Nigeria Unites for Peter Obi.