The All Progressives Congress (APC), has commenced grassroots sensitisation tour to mobilise the electorate in the 13 local government areas of Ebonyi, to register in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
Mr Eze Nwachukwu, Acting APC Chairman in Ebonyi, led other members of the State Working Committee (SWC) to launch the campaign on Friday in Afikpo, Afikpo North Local Government Area.
Nwachukwu, who addressed the people, said that the sensitisation was in line with the directive from the national headquarters of APC.
According to him, the exercise is aimed at mobilising , educating and sensitising eligible grassroots voters on the need to participate in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration.
He said that as the 2019 general elections draw closer, that it was imperative that rural communities were mobilised to fully participate in the ongoing CVR, stressing that bulk of the voters reside in rural areas.
“Registration and collection of the voter cards is the only qualification to vote in the elections; any eligible voter without his or her voter card will have no business at the polling booths during election, ” Nwachukwu said.
He said that current reforms in the electoral system would make it difficult to rig elections in 2019, assuring the people that their votes must count in the elections.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians of commitment to conduct credible elections in 2019.
“The electronic transmission of election results to be adopted in 2019 will make it difficult to rig in 2019, and this will put election riggers out of business.
“We are here today to appeal to the people of Afikpo North to go to any INEC office nearest to them and register and collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“It is your civic right and obligation to vote and you must resist anything that will deny you opportunity to exercise this important civic duty.
“We again assure you that your votes will count in 2019. “
Nwachukwu urged party faithful and APC supporters to ensure that they effectively participate in the CVR exercise and other vital electoral processes.
He advised the electorate against selling their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and urged them to resist politicians who would come to demand their PVCs in exchange for employment, empowerment or to give them bank loans.
“It is a criminal offence to engage in selling or buying of voter cards and you must report those found to indulge in such illicit transactions.
“Your voter card is your property and the only right you have as citizens to exercise your voting rights to elect your leaders; selling it means disqualifying yourselves.
“There is no rule in the civil service that requires your voter card for employment or empowerment and no bank will require you to submit your voter card to give you loan.
“You must resist any attempt that will make them disenfranchise you and must report such persons to the Police, ” Nwachukwu said.
He said that the party would constitute local government and ward committees in the 13 local government areas of the state that would be charged with the mandate of door-to-door mobilisation of rural communities to come out and register.
Meanwhile, the chairman has charged APC faithful in the local government to remain supportive of the party and to work hard to ensure that the party emerged victorious in the area in 2019.
He announced that the party would commence membership registration, and urged members who were yet to formally register with the party to avail themselves of the opportunity.
“We have over 18,000 registered members of our great party in Afikpo North and we are opening another window of opportunity to enable members who are yet to formally register to do so.
“It’s only those with our membership registration cards that will be allowed to participate in voting during the party primaries and congresses,” he added.