The members of the National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, at the weekend organised a nationwide campaign to sensitise the public on the need to empower themselves by registering to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
The campaign, which was carried out under the association’s ‘Our Votes Count (OVC)’ advocacy platform, saw the massive deployment of members on the streets to share fliers and educate the public on the importance and how to go about registering for their PVC taking advantage of the extension of the exercise.
In Lagos State the Campaign took place in Alimosho, Agege, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Mainland and Lagos Island Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Speaking to THISDAY on the Campaign taking place in the Akowonjo area of Alimosho LGA, the Cap’n of Hawkins Deck in charge of Alimosho and Agege LGAs of the association, Chuks Onwudinjo told the newspaper that in the course of the campaign, the association discovered so many challenges facing eligible voter in their bid to register for PVCs.
According to him, one frequent complaint was the inability of the ad hoc INEC staff in various centres to cope with pressures occasioned by the last minute rush to beat the registration deadline.
He added that the voters complained that in situations where over 200 people show up for registration in some centres, the INEC staff would inform them logistics would only allow them register about 60 people.
In their reaction, Godstime Awoze, Charles Nagudia, Eseoghene Efeduma and Morede Giwa Cap’ns of Panama, Zanas, Hispaniola and Walrus-X Decks of The association respectively, all spoke of the success achieved by the campaign in their various LGAs in Lagos State, stating that the objective of the campaign was to ensure that eligible voters in Lagos State, use the opportunity of the extension of voter registration to make sure enough citizens of the state, register and collect their PVCs.
Earlier on the newly elected international President of the organisation, Kwaghbunde Gbahabo, speaking during a sensitisation interaction with reporters stated the National Association of Seadogs in the next one year was going to shift focus slightly from its concentration on charity and humanitarian ideals to advocacy in other to push further the agenda and debate on good governance in which public officials are held accountable to the people.
On his part the Lagos State Coordinator of the Association, Uchenna Nnoli, stated that Lagos State being the commercial nerve centre of the nation, is key towards achieving a free and fair election in the country, hence all the field reports collected and collated during this exercise would be compiled and sent to INEC.
The National Association of Seadogs with branches all over the world, was granted Election Monitor status in the 2011 general elections by INEC, and has also applied to the electoral body to be part of the international election monitoring bodies for the 2019 general elections.