By Ononye VC
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has urged university authorities to give students at least a one-week holiday to be able to vote in the forthcoming elections.
Speaking at a meeting on Monday evening with members of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM), Obi said there are over three million students who are eligible to vote.
“I am sure INEC will do the right thing. I am sure the universities will give them the break to go and vote. It is important because it is about their future. This election is about these young people and I’m sure they will allow them to go and vote. We will continue to mention it to them as we go along,” Obi said.
“For me now, what is important is ensuring that people collect their PVCs. There are some areas where people are still complaining that they are being denied their PVCs for one reason or the other. INEC must give them attention.
“But I must give INEC credit for extending the date for the collection of PVC, but again I urge them to ensure that people collect their PVC. This election is very important to Nigerians. It is an existential election. We want all those that have registered to participate.”
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for extending the deadline for the collection of permanent voter’s cards (PVC).
In his remarks, Barry Andrews, chief observer of the EU-EOM, said the meeting was a routine one for the purpose of interacting with leading presidential candidates and other stakeholders in the February 25 presidential election.
“It is part of our work, we are having meetings with all the stakeholders in this very important election here in Nigeria. We have met with important participants including Labour Party today,” Andrews said.
“We also met with APC and PDP candidates. We also met with the minister of foreign affairs earlier today, the vice president, civil society, and the media.
“What we are doing is trying to develop a picture of transparency, inclusivity, and credibility of the election. And we will report that, two days after the election in a preliminary report in a press conference on the 27th of February.
“We are in the very early stages. We have been meeting and people have a collective sense of deepening the very root of democracy and we think we can play a part but we won’t be making any conclusion until after the election.”