Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has appealed to the people of the state to register and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to avoid disenfranchisement during 2019 general election.
Ortom said that they should take advantage of the extension in the dates given by the INEC for the voters’ registration to achieve this.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the electoral body had extended the voters registration exercise by two weeks to enable robust participation in the 2019 general elections.
Ortom made the appeal on Friday in Gboko during the “Ijir Tamen” assembly that was attended by all the traditional rulers in Tiv land.
He said the PVC was their political power and strength because it would enable them to vote their preferred candidates during elections.
“With the PVC, you have the power to vote out leaders that performed abysmally or failed to live up to your expectations while in office,” he said.
He also advised those that were unwilling to collect their PVCs to have a rethink and collect them in order not to be disenfranchised.
Ortom, therefore, urged traditional rulers, council chairmen and their councillors to sensitize their people on the need to register and obtain their PVCs.
He decried the attacks on him, saying they were politically masterminded.
“I am being persecuted because of my defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the enactment of the Anti-Open Grazing Law 2017.
He assured the Tiv Traditional Council of his administration’s resolve to support all initiatives of the council, especially the “Ayatutu Ka se Foundation” for the overall benefit of the Tiv nation.
Also speaking, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, advised politicians to eschew bitterness and violence during electioneering, warning that Benue would “no longer tolerate bloodletting”.
He said that the Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) under his watch would always remain politically neutral by giving royal counsel to all subjects interested in politics.
The Tor Tiv, therefore, appealed to the Tiv people to contribute to the treasury of ‘Ayatutu Ka Se Foundation’.
According to him, the foundation will serve as the Tiv Endowment Fund.
He said that funds from it will be used for the growth, development and progress of the Tiv nation and the development of its people.