An International Election Observer Group, Pan African Women Projects in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission, have called on women resident in Nasarawa State who recently registered for their Permanent Voters Cards, to ensure that they collect the cards in order to elect credible leaders into office in 2023.
INEC had announced the commencement of PVC distribution to eligible voters from December 12, 2022 to January 22, 2023.
Speaking in Lafia on Thursday during a one-day sensitisation programme for over 1,500 market women leaders in the state, the Head of Mission of PAWP, Eno Ben-Udensi, said the group decided to embark on the PVC collection campaign to improve women’s participation in politics.
She explained that the eligible voters could collect their cards from INEC offices across the 13 local government areas of the state.
Ben-Udensi said, “PAWP is a non-governmental organisation of women from the 54 nations of Africa including Nigeria. Our mission today in Nasarawa State is to sensitise market women from the 13 LGAs to get their Permanent Voters Cards now that INEC has commenced distribution.
“PAWP as an observer group with INEC has observed that over the years, women who mostly turn up at the polling units to vote during elections are from the grassroots, and majority of them are the market women. So, our mission here is very critical and intentional.
“The 1,516 market women leaders here today are expected to take the message to their people. We are doing this because we believe that INEC has improved with the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.
“So women in the state should not be afraid that their votes will not count in 2023. The Permanent Voters Cards is their rights, it is also their power and voice. Every Nigerian needs it to elect credible leaders into office in the coming elections.”
On her part, the Gender Desk Officer of INEC in Nasarawa State, Bridget Abuga, expressed gratitude to the PAWP delegation for the awareness programme and gave assurances of the commission’s readiness to conduct a free, fair and credible election in 2023.
The Manager of Lafia Modern Market who spoke on behalf of the women, Mohammed Umar, thanked the organisers of the event for their efforts, and promised to work assiduously towards mobilising traders in the state to get their PVCs.