A non-profit group, the Pega & Friends Foundation Foundation has commenced a sensitization campaign across the nook and crannies of Ogun State, and most especially Yewa axis of the state, on the needs for the residents of the state to collect their Permanent Voters Card to eliminate political apathy and encourage political participation amongst the citizenry in the upcoming 2019 General Elections.
In a statement signed by its Founder, Prince Ekunola Gbenga Abraham (PEGA), a copy of which was made available to the press, the Foundation said the essence of the sensitisation campaign is to engage the citizens of Ogun State on the need to be more active in the electoral processes because based on the recent visit of the foundation led by its Director Prince Ekunola Gbenga Abraham (PEGA) to some INEC offices especially Yewa South Local Government, the number of uncollected PVCs is alarming, he expressed concern over the high level of uncollected PVCs across Ogun State and also base on state-by-state breakdown of the number of registered voters and their PVC collection rate, only a total of 1,125,657 out of the over 1,829,534 registered voters of a voting population of 3,728,098 had collected their Permanent Voters Card.
The foundation defied rain to move round of some of the streets around Ilaro, the headquarters of Yewa South Local Government to sensitise the people about the importance of collecting their registered PVC ahead of 2019 general election.
According to Abraham, “Without your PVC, you are powerless, without your PVC, you can only complain, you cannot contribute. That is why we are calling on those of you that have registered for PVC to go INEC of to collect it and express your political choice on the day of the election.”
The Foundation also said that a review of the Independent National Electoral Commission statistics of PVCs’ collected in Ogun State before 2015 General Election and the recent statistics released showed there was still a large number of uncollected PVC in the State while the number of newly registered voters was not a true reflection of the voting population of Ogun State.
He said further that the self-imposed political apathy embraced by youths in the State will not solve our national challenges or improve governance in the State, rather it will continue to stunt the development in Ogun State compared to its neighbouring Lagos State.
Ekunola, a Political Analyst asserted that a survey conducted by his foundation corroborated earlier claims that the numbers of citizens in Ogun State above the age of 18 that do not have PVC are more than those who have registered and collected their PVCs, stressing that this may disenfranchise majority of the citizens in the State in light of the new e-voting card readers intended to be used for the 2019 General Elections, which will only recognise the PVCs.
On the objective(s) of the foundation, Ekunola, a native of Pahayi-Yewa said he established Foundation with sole aim of promoting the spirit of nationalism and patriotism amongst Nigerians and enhancing the quality of life of ordinary Nigerians through initiatives that promote national development, entrepreneurship and educational opportunities. Pega & Friends Foundation as a non-profit non-governmental organization that reaches out to the forgotten people in the society (women, youths & children especially) so as to give them hope and make life worth living. We undertakes the following initiatives: empowering economically disadvantage individuals, creating employments for youths, organizing public enlightenment, talent hunts, free medical care in rural area, character management & rehabilitation programs for inmates. etc.
The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) trained criminologist and Human Rights activist added that the foundation, with the support another non-profit group, the Yewa Connecting Minds (YCM), has trained over empowered youths, children and less Privileged across the nation.
He urged Nigerians to join the campaign for PVC collection nationwide and support the ongoing INEC initiatives towards successful elections in 2019.