It’s a day that kicks off the 2023 elections and will define the country’s future for the next four years.
As a Nigerian of voting age, there’s a weight of responsibility on your shoulders that should be taken as seriously as signing a work contract.
With one full year of preparation, what do you need to do between now and next February to make the best choice for yourself and the country?
We’re here to help.
Register for your PVC
A voter without a permanent voter card (PVC) is like a train without an engine.
You can only remember where that tune is from if you’re at least 40 years old.
Nigeria has just over 84 million registered voters as of today, but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) set a target in 2021 to register 20 million new voters before the continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise is paused in June 2022.
With only four months to go, only about 3.1 million people have fully registered for their PVC.
INEC is off its target by over 80%.
The very first step to becoming a responsible voter is to arm yourself with the only thing that can make your voice heard.
Dust your PVC
A presidential aspirant that shall not be named recently goofed and told his supporters to go register for new PVCs because the ones they currently hold have expired.
This guy, again.
It’s the kind of broadcast message your aunty sends you at 4 am alongside Bible verses.
But as you have already been told by INEC, that panic message is as true as bail is free.
What we can advise is that you should make sure your PVC is in good working condition, or that you even still have it.
If your PVC is lost or damaged or needs to have its records updated, this is the time to fix all that before the CVR is paused in June.
Transfer to your closest location
Nigerian voting laws are still Living in Bondage, which is why your PVC is only useful in the specific polling unit you are registered.
If you have changed your residential location since the last election, it means you also have to transfer your PVC information to the nearest polling unit.
INEC also created over 50,000 new polling units last year to move voting centres closer to the people.
This means that even if you didn’t move locations, you can transfer your PVC record to a polling unit that’s possibly closer to you than before.
You can start the transfer process here.
Join a party
This is not absolutely necessary to do as a voter, but it’s not the worst idea in the world.
Find a party that aligns with your ideas, and contribute to its internal processes.
Direct elections are likely to be popular ahead of the 2023 elections. This makes it possible for you to have a direct impact on what candidates your party presents for the elections.
Pay close attention
No one does election campaign drama better than Nigerian politicians.
They are proof that characters that have come to steal, kill, and destroy also have the audacity to be entertaining.
Campaign season means there’s a lot going on to sell you on candidates and what they’re capable of if elected. It’s all a game and you have to play.
It’s your responsibility as a voter to open your eyes and ears to what they show and tell you.
Try to learn as much as you can about candidates and what they stand for, stood for, and are capable of.
Don’t fall for fake news, and don’t share fake news like your WhatsApp uncles and aunties.
Don’t sell your vote. It’s an actual crime.
Stick with us
Zikoko Citizen will help you to navigate all the hard work needed to make the best choice for the 2023 elections.
Only an informed voter can make an informed choice and we’re committed to helping you with that by cutting out the noise.
INEC has announced a new date for the presidential election after the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
The new date is February 25, 2023.