By Edozie Obasi-Eze
A presidential aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has tendered apologies for his misleading statement on the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).
Recall that Tinubu had at a public function in Abuja encouraged his political loyalists to register to be eligible to vote in the 2023 general elections, because their PVCs had expired.
On the occasion, Tinubu 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 PVC you have has 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 pubic statement elicited a reaction from the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, who quickly clarified that the PVCs do not come with any expiry date.
In a volte face, Tinubu’s media face reacted with a statement in which they claimed that their boss meant to urge the people to update their PVCs and that the word ‘expire’ was a slip of tongue.
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 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.
“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.
“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 level 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.”