Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State; Ben Ayade of Cross River State; and Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, have approved work-free days to enable civil servants in their states to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
A statement signed by Akeredolu’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said the declaration of Tuesday, January 24, 2023, as a public holiday by the governor was to enable all eligible voters in the state to collect their PVCs at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)-designated centres in their respective local government areas.
According to him, the governor who urged civil servants, private workers, artisans, and other well-meaning residents of the state to seize the opportunity and collect their PVCs, also called on the people to place a premium on the collection of PVCs to enable them to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections.
The statement read: “The importance of the forthcoming elections cannot be overemphasised. There is an urgent need for us to address the low rate of PVC collection in the Southwest. Beyond partisan lines, our people must understand that the PVC is their license to enthrone desired political leadership.
“We are constrained to take this decision to enable our people to take this advantage and collect their PVCs. We all must exercise our civic responsibilities.
“All political appointees and other government functionaries are also directed to return to their local governments and wards to encourage our people to collect their PVCs.” the statement added.
On his part, Ayade approved January 26 and 27 as work-free days in the state to enable civil servants to collect their PVCs.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Eric Anderson, said the work-free days would make it possible for residents to participate fully in the 2023 general election.
He also advised civil servants in the state to take advantage of the work-free days to get prepared and make their votes count in the elections.
“Government wishes to make it clear for the benefit of members of the public that though work-free, members of the public are expected to take advantage of the days to get their PVCs and not just sit at home,” the statement reads.
“It is important that members of the public get their PVCs in readiness to make their votes count in the coming election.
“Your PVC is the pathway to achieving credible elections, get yours now,” Ayade added.
On his part, Oyebanji has also declared January 24, a work-free day.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Yinka Oyebode, the Ekiti State governor said the action was to enable eligible voters to collect their PVCs.
“The governor urges all eligible voters to take advantage of the holiday and collect their PVC, which is their licence to participate in the forthcoming general election,” the statement read.
The ongoing collection of PVCs, which began on December 12, will end on January 29.
Fidelis David in Akure