Following my Monday post about a certain protagonist’s experience while attempting to retrieve his PCV, I got some feedback. Many of us liked the story, and identified with it – thank you, always; a good number of us however did not, still do not know that it is possible for one to transfer one’s PVC from the centre where one registered to any centre in the country.
This wan no be hear-yarn, bros…I did it myself.
I registered to vote in Abia state and like the percentage of Nigerians who had relocated in four years, I was heavily vexing with INEC. Not only were they clearly intent on disenfranchising me, they were also in collabo with my village people to hinder my progress. Why else would they expect that in four years, I wouldn’t have moved to the big city?!
I was furious and made sure everyone knew who cared to listen. And it was while spreading this venom that a friend casually mentioned that one could actually transfer registration. He mentioned it very flippantly, I guffawed at it. Guy, go siddon jare, for this Naija?
But he insisted. He said that I could find the information on the official INEC website. INEC website is not as imirimious as NSCDC website nah, so I checked it out. This is what I found.
Procedure for Transfer:-
- Step 1:
The person who intends to transfer his registration will write an application to INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State where he is currently residing.
- Step 2:
The applicant will attach his voters card to the application.
- Step 3:
The applicant must apply to the Resident Electoral Commissioner not later than 30 days before the date of an election in the constituency where he is residing.
- Step 4:
The Resident Electoral Commissioner will direct the Electoral Officer of the applicants Local Government Area to enter his name in the transferred voters list.
- Step 5:
The Electoral Officer will assign the applicant to a polling unit in his constituency.
- Step 6:
The Electoral Officer will issue the applicant with a new voters card
- Step 7:
The Electoral officer will retrieve the applicants previous voters card
- Step 8:
He will then send a copy of the entry to the Electoral officer of the constituency where the person whose name has been so entered was originally registered.
- Step 9:
Upon receipt of this entry, that Electoral Officer shall delete the name from his voters list.
Note: Apart from State Headquarters Offices of INEC, applicants can also submit their applications at the INEC Office in their Local Government Areas. The applications will be forwarded to the Resident Electoral Commissioner for necessary action.
Read more at http://www.inecnigeria.org/?page_id=2051
How I did mine
I got this information in the first week of January, right on the brink of the deadline, and I followed the instructions to the latter. I printed out a simple three-paragraph application letter, procured three passport photographs, and made photocopies of both the letter and my temporary voter’s card.
I was very meticulous with my preparation because I was not going to give ‘them’ any wriggle-room. I wanted to be able to say afterwards, that INEC really did – for censorship sake – play me.
I entered the INEC office at Sabo, Yaba at 9am and by 10:30am, I was on the bus back, my new temporary voter’s card was in my pocket and I was now one of those Lagosians waiting to collect their permanent voter’s cards. There was no hassle; the INEC officials were beautiful, jolly, young women who literally held my hand through the whole process of filling a simple form and having my bio-data captured.
If I had any idea how uninformed other people were about the existence and workability of this process, I would have written this immediately after I got back. Alas, the process was too seamless, so smooth that I was sure it was just me who did not know that transfers were possible.
For you who registered in Abuja or Aba or Kogi, now you know how to very easily get your PVC without having to journey back to your past. Sadly, you will not be able to vote in this election but you can at least try to see for yourself that it works. You who just dey bad-mouth INEC without making any effort to get informed, oya pim!
While mulling over the ‘I Will Vote’ post with a friend yesterday, we considered a number of possible reasons for the protagonist’s hope even in the face of disappointment: Is he a die-hard fan of Professor Jega? Is he relieved – even though he might not know it – that he now has more time to deal with the weight of a PVC on his voter’s conscience? Is he a believer, or just an optimist?
The pretty lady and I agreed to agree on all options, but I daresay that if that protagonist’s TVC-collection experience was anything like mine, then his hope was not an option. It was most likely an answer.