Our Security, Our Peace By Dr O.E Bassey
By this time next year, the country would have succeeded in electing its 5th democratic president, bringing an end to the eight year administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
There will be no necessity going down memory lane of the impacts of his administration as such is evident in the faces of not only people but institutions in the country.
This explains why the joy of his reign coming to an end can be said to be ubiquitous with many wishing it could happen soonest than when due. But the crux is that it is one thing to have an administration coming to an end, it is another to have a new one that will sit well with the masses in the time of its reign and even beyond.
Time and again, the complaints have been how one government has been irresponsible, corrupt and selfish, and yet when the time to ensure that such cycle does not get to spawn, we find Nigerians unwilling to contribute to that process. Who gets things without putting in the work?
Thankfully, the narrative appears likely to take a turnaround with the number of people who are being seen turning up at the respective INEC centres across the country to get registered for their PVCs.
But to say the truth, that is not all there is to the process of birthing a new Nigeria as unanimously being sung with different lingos. What translates to the election of new leaders who will midwife the birth of a new Nigeria is the vote via the PVCs. In other words, taking the first step does not equal taking the whole steps.
As much as it is being canvassed that we all go out to get our PVCs, it must be resounded that when election comes, we also bring out that self-same interest, commitment and drive, thronging out en masse to put our PVC to work and ensure it gives us the security we desire from a new Nigeria.
In addition to this, it is so easy to get carried away with the race and rave to get the PVC, and forget underlying details that come with it. One of such is getting registered for it in an area where you are most likely unable to travel to come election day as a result of non-movement restriction. So, it is advisable that you get registered in your residential area, such that it becomes easy for you to walk short distance within your neigbourhood locating the closest polling unit to you to cast your vote. A practical example of this complex will be traders at the Alaba market registering for their PVCs at the market, but they live in Alimosho. On the day of the election, it will be impossible for these traders to find their way to Alaba due to the peculiar restriction in movement that comes with election day.
So where you live or where you will most likely be when the election takes place next year in February should be where you should get registered for your PVC, so that you do not only get your PVC but also get to put it to use for the security we want in the multiple sectors we want them.
Thankfully, the deadline for the Continous Voters Registration (CVR) has been declared indefinite, which means that it now has no closing date, and you can always walk in to the INEC centre when you wish to get registered for your PVC. However, I must resound that this should be no excuse to de-prioritize getting the PVC. The concern, which is informed from experience, is that the number of people we see queuing up at the centres will drastically reduce now that there is no deadline to it, and people will return to their lax attitude about it. It must be emphasized that such should not be the case, and that the same priority and urgency we have been giving to it be maintained, so we can all get it as we get ready to put it to use come February, 2023.
That said, reports also have it that INEC has not been up to scratch with giving Nigerians ease and access to the PVC with its understaffing, poor and slow system and lack of presence in some areas in the country.
Many have complained that they get to spend the whole day trying to sort out PVC issues because the staff therein are not adequate to cater for the number of people they are to attend to. Imagine a 700 crowd of people getting to be attended to by 2 persons working on a system. It will be impossible for half of that crowd of people to get their respective demands attended to within the 9-3pm work hours, I learnt, INEC officials operate for PVC registration at their various centres.
In some areas, the complaints is residents can’t find one centre where they can get registered. The closest to them is as far-flung as them traveling miles to get access to it. That is yet a discouraging factor for a system that should be made easily accessible for Nigerians in a bid to have more Nigerians contributing to governance as opposed to what used to be obtainable.
The dots are clear and acute, and both as individuals and the electoral body, we must connect them to have that new Nigeria that guarantees our security.
Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders – Romans 13:7
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling – Titus 3:1-2.
Dr. Ofonime Emmanuel Bassey is a Security, Peace and Conflict Resolution Coach with decades of experience in the practice and promotion of Law Enforcement, Peace and Security through the Nigeria Police and the United Nations.
He is an advocate of Peace Leadership and Child Protection.
He has served and interacted at the top level management of the Nigeria Police as well as internationally as a United Nation’s Monitor/Mentor in Kosovo, Europe.
A professor of Peace Advocacy and Conflict Resolution, Dr. O.E Bassey is a certified United Nation’s Trainer, and currently the Director of ICOF Institute of Leadership, Peace and Conflict Resolution in Africa.
With his marks well-established in Peace Leadership both in Nigeria and Africa. Currently, he is the President, NISSI Safety Management Institute: An Institute of Peace Leadership.
Presently, he is spearheading a campaign tagged “The Next Peace Leaders”, a campaign that is billed to run from 2022-2023 with a target of training 37,000 young peace leaders.
For peace and security tips, consultations and trainings, reach him via:
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