Some Catholic priests in Nigeria have enforced a policy of ‘No Permanent Voter Card (PVC), No Sunday Mass’.
In videos seen on Sunday, some church members were denied entry into Sunday masses over their inability to display their permanent voter cards issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
At St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Utugwang, Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State, the assistant parish head was heard instructing those with their PVCs to come into the church and those without to go back home.
In another Catholic parish reportedly to be in one of the states in the North Central, the Reverend Father was heard saying, “From today if you are coming for mass, carry your PVC. If you don’t have your PVC, don’t bother coming.
“Because there is no way you have Christians filling up the church but only a handful of them go to vote during elections.
“So, it means our population and numbers mean nothing. So, we want Christians to take their responsibilities and roles seriously.
“So, today, I am serious about it. As I’m standing here, if you have your PVC— begin to come in. But if you don’t have your PVC, find your way back home. You won’t attend mass here.”
As political processes preceding the 2023 general elections continue to heighten, private, public and religious organisations have intensified campaigns for their staff and members respectively to get their PVCs to enable them to exercise their civic responsibility.
Last Thursday, the Alaba International Market in Lagos was shut down for traders to obtain their PVCs ahead of the 2023 general elections.
A law firm, Antonio Lex Firma, has also threatened to withhold the salaries of its staff members if they do not have voter cards as part of their civic duty ahead of the 2023 elections.