According to Loung Ung, an American human rights activist, “Voting is not only our right, it is our power.” As true as this may be, people across Africa and Nigeria in this case, seem to have given up on the power of voting as a catalyst for positive change.
Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million, yet these numbers have not been a true representation of the voting population. Since Nigeria became a democratic country in 1999, there has been an increase in voter apathy. In 2015, 15.3 % of the population determined the result of the Presidential election, which is 42.4% of the registered voters. While in 2019 18% of the population which is about 35% of registered voters, voted in the Presidential election – this means that less than four people determined who won in 2019 for every ten eligible voters. The 2019 elections recorded the lowest election turnout Nigeria has recorded since independence for a presidential election. The big question is, what number will determine the upcoming 2023 general elections?
Inarguably, we need to actively participate in the election process and change the narrative as we countdown to #NigeriaDecides2023. We must be deliberate about the Nigeria of our dreams and constantly work at it. As citizens, it is our civic responsibility to get a voter’s card. Remember; without your voter’s card, you cannot vote in any election. Luckily, technology has now made the process easier. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made the process of registering for a Permanent Voters Card (PVC) registration easy through its online registration portal https://cvr.inecnigeria.org. So, take advantage of it to get your PVC.
Apart from making PVC registration easy, technology is also helping people around the world get involved in the conversation around democracy and elections, including in Nigeria. And there is no doubt that it is continually helping in strengthening national democracy by contributing to the increasing awareness and education on pertinent issues on governance.
We are leveraging these enormous potentials of technology to mobilize and accelerate electoral processes. In 2015, Co-creation Hub in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, EIE Nigeria, WANGONET, and INITS, developed and launched #GoVote – a project aimed at educating and empowering Nigerians with the right tools to vote. It is a platform that simplifies the entire election process and serves as an information point to different categories of voters, which makes it more responsive to users.
We understand how significant technology is in our world today, and why we need to harness and leverage it to change the dynamics of the election in Nigeria. One of our major goals is to leverage technology and our community networks to mobilize and register 5,0000,000 people aged 18-40 by the 2023 elections. Follow us on all social media platforms @govote.ng and visit our website for more information on the voting and registration process.
Dear Nigerian, remember that “every election is determined by the people who show up” (Larry J. Sabato, American political scientist, and political analyst). It is time to get involved and use the power of numbers to sustain our democracy. Frankly, no one has any excuse anymore. The PVC registration process ends on June 30th, 2022, so get your PVC today!
Take action to #GoVoteNG.