Former Governor of Lagos State and 2023 Presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has apologized to Nigerians over his recent misleading claim on the validity of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs.
It has been reported that the All Progressive Congress, APC, National Leader while addressing a group of women in Abuja yesterday, told them to go and get a new PVC ahead of the 2023 elections because the one in their possession has expired.
He said, “In case they do not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired. Take one family member, two family members, knock on all doors and make sure that the new registration… Because they may not announce to you on time. The PVCs you have expired. Yes!
You need to spread it to various local governments and wards at each level. No matter how difficult it is. To me, I look at it closely and you look at other elections being held, you will see that it’s diminishing because those cards expired. It’s mandatory that you go and register to vote and achieve your aspirations. May God bless you and bless Nigeria.”
Tinubu’s claim had since received a series of backlash from stakeholders who described the politician’s report as misleading and untrue.
Reacting in a statement, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is saddled with the nation’s electoral matters, said Tinubu’s information was wrong.
The commission stated categorically that PVCs don’t come with an expiry date, News360 reports.
In response to the backlash that followed the misleading information, Tinubu’s media team issued a statement saying the APC chieftain flopped when he used the word ‘expire’ instead of stating that PVCs may have to be updated.
The statement read, “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 apologized 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 emphasised 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.”