A non-profit organisation, the National Association of Seadogs, NAS, has urged traders to take advantage of the August 31 extended deadline for the Permanent Voters Card, PVC registration exercise.
The group led by Mudi Peter, the President of NAS Calabar Municipality, visited major vegetable, sea food and other markets within the capital city of Cross River State, urging traders to register with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Peter and his team, who were on the street awareness in line with NAS Our-Votes-Count campaign on PVC registration and collection, interacted with the traders at the markets.
Chidi Okoro, a trader at Marian Market complained of frustrations faced twice in one month due to the slow process, stating “I have gone to INEC office twice in attempts to register. I could not succeed because the process was slow. We spent hours on the queue and returned to my shop”.
Another trader, Uduak Anam said she was not interested in the registration due to the series of negative complaints from those who attempted to visit the INEC office to register.The traders agreed that registration would be easier if the commission opened centres closer to the markets to enable most of them take advantage of the time left.
“We cannot afford to leave our businesses unattended to for hours only to be frustrated with the registration process. We are appealing to INEC to send some of their people to the markets, so we can all queue for registration,” she stated.
The leader of the group joined the traders in the appeal to INEC to set up registration centres closer to the markets, if not within, for ease and to fast track the process.
According to him, “setting up centres closer to the traders will give the traders a feeling of ease and will encourage them to register. We, as a group, need Nigerians, irrespective of status, to participate actively in the 2019 elections. All our votes must count”.
Explaining further, he said, “These complaints have become relevant for the body concerned to look into. We know the task of carrying out the exercise is demanding. It will be good to consider the traders’ views”.
Peter said the main focus of the group also known as Pyrates Confraternity, is sensitisation.
A recent statement from INEC indicates that more than 100,000 PVCs were yet to be collected in Cross River State.