Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu has clarified his statement on “expired” permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) and apologised for the dust it may have raised.
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday night in Abuja granted audience to a delegation of women from Lagos and across the country attending the Progressives Women Conference.
“They may not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired,” he told them.
Calling on his visitors to mobilise voters from the grassroots, the former Lagos State governor added that voters’ turnout in elections has been diminishing over the years because the PVCs have expired.
But the chief press secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Rotimi Oyekanmi noted that “Nigerians who already have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) do not need to register again.”
Chief technical adviser to the INEC chairman Prof. Bolade Eyinla also reacted to it in a message shared on a WhatsApp platform.
“This information is NOT CORRECT!!! The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains VALID,” he said.
However, spokesman of the APC leader Tunde Rahman in a statement issued on Wednesday said Tinubu used the word ‘expire’ in error.
He said, “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.”
Rahman added that at the meeting convened at the behest of the women, Tinubu stressed the need for people to fully participate in elections to strengthen the nation’s democracy.
He said the ex-senator 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,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.