Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has asked traditional rulers in the state to prevail on their subjects to take advantage of the extension of the deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, extended the deadline for collection of PVCs from March 8 to 22, six days before the commencement of the general elections.
Dickson, who made the call on Saturday in continuation of the State Government’s ‘Operation Show Your PVC’ exercise in Yenagoa Local Government Area, also urged the royal fathers to engage the services of town criers to further sensitize the people on the need to collect their PVCs.
According to Dickson, the call had become imperative in view of government’s desire to achieve almost 100 per cent collection rate to enable the people to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming general elections.
He noted that the coming elections would be remarkably different from other elections ever conducted in the country.
The Governor, who visited Biseni, Okordia, Zarama, and Gbarain/Ekpetiama clans of Yenagoa, urged the people to disabuse their minds from apathy and believe in INEC, assuring them that the forthcoming polls would be devoid of thuggery and other electoral malpractices.
Dickson said, “We are embarking on this ‘Operation Show Your PVC’ campaign to ensure that every eligible Bayelsan that registered with INEC gets their PVC. You know our voting population is not as high as some other states, so we cannot afford to be indifferent about this issue.
“I know we all want our son and brother to be re-elected as the president of this great country. But, we cannot achieve that if we fail to collect our PVCs, because that is the only instrument that will enable you to vote for him and the other candidates of our party, that we are sending to the House of Assembly, representatives and even to the Senate.
“For us in this state, it is PDP all the way. So, if anybody comes to tell you that he or she is contesting from another party just to win the election and thereafter will come back to the PDP, it is a lie. Don’t listen to such stories. Bayelsa is PDP, just as PDP is for Bayelsa.
“I therefore call on you our respected royal fathers to join us in this campaign by telling your communities to tell our people that this election will be different from others, because the issue of thugs running away with election materials for their political masters to manipulate will not be possible. In this election, it is going to be one man one vote, one woman one vote, one papa one vote and even one mama one vote”.
Describing the visit as a meet-the-people tour, Dickson and other ranking government officials in his administration, thanked the various clans for supporting him during and after his election.