Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has tendered an apology over his claim that Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) expire.
While hosting some of his supporters in Abuja, the APC stalwart had asked them to register ahead of the election because their PVCs had expired.
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“In case they do not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired. Take one family member, two family members, knock on all doors and make sure that the new registration… Because they may not announce to you on time. The PVCs you have has expired. Yes!”
“You need to spread it to various local government and wards at each levels. No matter how difficult it is. To me, I look at it closely and you look at other elections being held, you will see that it’s diminishing because those cards expired. It’s mandatory that you go and register to vote and achieve your aspirations. May God bless you and bless Nigeria.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had countered his claim, warning people not to heed his advice.
The issue had generated a heat debate, particularly on social media, where many criticised the former Lagos governor.
Amid the backlash, Tinubu media outfit issued a statement on his behalf, apologising to Nigerians for the misleading comment.
The statement said Tinubu mistakenly used the word, “expire”, when he meant to say, PVCs need to be updated.
When he granted audience to a delegation of women from Lagos and across the country attending the All Progressives Congress Women Conference.
“On Tuesday night in Abuja, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu granted audience to a delegation of women from Lagos and across the country attending the All Progressives Congress Women Conference. While charging the women to check the status of their voting cards and mobilise supporters to vote, he mistakenly used the word ‘expire’ instead of stating that the cards may have to be updated.
“Immediately upon being apprised of this, Asiwaju apologised for the incorrect statement and felt sorry for any confusion it may have caused. Asiwaju Tinubu also stressed that he appreciates the patriotic and necessary work of INEC and its personnel in assuring a free and fair electoral process for all Nigerians in all political parties.
“At the meeting convened at the behest of the women, Asiwaju emphasized the need for people to fully participate in elections so we strengthen our democracy. He urged them to continue to mobilise voters to update their PVCs and help thwart the prevailing voter-apathy. Women must mobilise heavily to reverse the trend, he said.
“The gap between those who registered for elections and those who usually turned up to pick their PVCs was wide, adding that such constitutes a serious challenge, which may impede the growth of our democracy.
“Asiwaju Tinubu would like to reiterate this call to women to mobilise at the grassroots levels so that elections reflect the sovereign will of all the people for a true democracy to be established. He enjoins them to review their voting details with INEC so that these details will be updated before the coming elections.”