President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday directed the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, to ensure all eligible voters get their Permanent Voters Cards before the 2015 General Election.
The President gave the directive as he swore in the new National Commissioner representing Oyo State, Akinola Salau.
Mr. Jonathan said he was surprised to hear governors complain of non-availability of their voter cards and promised that no eligible Nigerian voter will disenfranchised.
“If governors are yet to get their voters cards of course that means that so many Nigerians are yet to get and people are a bit worried,” he said.
The President said he was pleased with the enthusiasm of Nigerians over the forthcoming 2015 elections.
“I am quite pleased because before 2011, no Nigerian will complain about voter cards and that’s why when some politicians talk I just laugh. Before 2011 how many Nigerians complained about not having voters card because elections were not conducted with voters cards.
“Nobody cared, we are all adults in Nigeria and we knew what was happening. But some people came on board and sanitized electoral process but others want to take the glory. We have to commend ourselves that today ordinary Nigerians, biggest business men, religious leaders are complaining I want my voters card.
“So the chairman of INEC luckily you are here, all Nigerians must get voters cards, we cannot conduct an election where some people will not have the rights to vote.
“People must decide who rules them at all levels not just about presidential elections, at the lowest level of elections conducted by INEC – the state assembly elections, House of Representatives, Senate and Presidency. All Nigerians must vote and INEC must do everything possible to make sure that all Nigerians have their voters card because we cannot a situation where some Nigerians will not vote that day,” he said.
The President said new National Commissioner for Oyo State is a man of impeccable character and should have been sworn in long ago.
“These are the kind of people we want to put in INEC people with impeccable character.
“So Prof. We want to charge you to go and demonstrate clearly that you are somebody with an impeccable character and that you will do good to all Nigerians irrespective of anything,” the president said.
The Chairman of INEC had told journalists in Abuja that all registered voters will get their PVC’s before February 14.