In 2021, INEC set a target to register 20 million new voters before June 2022. But like the many times the government has promised better power supply, they’re nowhere near that target. As of March 2022, INEC only recorded 4.4 million registered voters since June 2021, only 22% of the 20 million target. So what’s going on? Why aren’t Nigerians registering to vote? We asked Nigerians without PVCs to explain themselves.
Please note: all the names affiliated with this article have been changed.
Kemi: I’ve actually tried. Earlier this year, I registered online, but no one from my voting centre has contacted me to come and collect my PVC.
Salami: Kemi, shey at least you’ve registered? I started my registration online and went for my biometrics but the queue sent me back home. The whole place was crowded. I just postponed the whole thing abeg.
Tejiri: The same thing happened to me in March. I was told to show up for my biometrics by 1 p.m., but I didn’t get my biometrics done until 4 p.m. Like, I left the queue to sort out an issue with my bank account at a GTB branch and went back to still meet the queue at the Abule Okuta centre in New Garage. And you know how long bank queues are.
Kemi: If you people know anyone from Kosofe Local Government Area, beg them to release my PVC.
Lizzy: The online registration process is stressful because tell me why I haven’t been able to upload my passport.
Kimi: Look at that. It’s kuku not only me. Every time I try to take a picture, it just shows me “invalid”. It’s quite annoying. Even when I try to add a picture from my gallery, the website rejects it. I don’t know if it’s a studio passport I’ll need to succeed at this point.
Kemi: Again, Kosofe Local Government I’ve tried my best, please. Help me help my country.
Susan: LOL. Me and you both sis. I first registered in Ogun State, but I moved to Abuja and applied for a location change. Since January, not a word from either state.
Ogundairo: I know you people didn’t call those of us with PVCs, but can we talk about how the voting itself is unnecessarily stressful? During the last election, I couldn’t even find a bike to my voting centre. No kekes, no bikes, nothing!
Tunde: Broooo! 2019 was a big turn off for me to care about 2023. I lived in Isolo then, and there were gangs in certain areas harassing and attacking people they suspected to be Igbo. And it was all because they wanted them to vote for Buhari. I kuku stayed inside my house.
Lizzy: You’re Igbo?
Tunde: No oh, but people always assume I am. So to be on the safe side, I stayed inside.
Rita: I tried registering and they told me to come back when I turned 18.
Tejiri: I don’t get. How old are you?
Rita: Doesn’t the country affect me too?
Tejiri: LOL. Nigeria isn’t running away. Enjoy being 16 sis.
Salami: But does my vote really count? 2023 will just be another round of rigging.
Amaka: Omo. I just need it for identification.
Kimi: I understand what you guys mean, but how does “not voting” solve anything? Any move these guys make affects everything.
Tunde: No problem. I’m sha travelling in 2023. I’ll see how it goes from the abroad.
Ogundairo: Kemi, how far? We fit go Kosofe if you’re up for it.