By Jacob Ajom
The interplay between sports and politics would come to bear on the 2019 general election in Nigeria as a group named Tap Initiative has perfected plans to use football and entertainment to lure adults, particularly the youths who are of voting age to go out to cast their votes in the forthcoming elections.
With football as the lynchpin for the campaign, Tap Initiative have concluded arrangements to stage a novelty football match at the iconic national stadium in Lagos tagged PVC-Football Awareness match, which would pitch the 1994 AFCON-winning Super Eagles against their 2013 counterparts who also won the title in South Africa.
Addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, Convener of the TAP Initiative, Martin Obono said apart from the novelty match which will see the likes of Samson Siasia, Mutiu Adepoju, Taribo West, Peter Rufai lock horns with the likes of John Obi Mikel, Yobo Joseph, Emmanuel Emenike, among others, the Tap Initiative-PVC football would be spread across the country through viewing centres and other live football matches. The ticket to watch these matches is the possession of the Permanent Voters Card, the PVC.
“We were informed by INEC that 84 million Nigerians are registered voters and 51% of that population are young people and about 8 million have not collected their PVCs and we decided to do something that will solve that particular problem. We looked at it and asked ourselves, what are the things that actually excite the youths? Football and entertainment readily come to mind. So we decided to put together a football match between the 1994 Super Eagles that are still loved by majority of football fans in the country and the 2013 Super Eagles squad.
“A fan without his PVC cannot enter to watch the match. We believe this will create awareness for them to go for their PVCs. The essential thing is that we want mass participation in the democratic process where every person take part in deciding who should rule over them,” Obono concluded.