Nigerian elections

By Gabriel Olawale

The European Union, EU, has admonished Nigerian youths to be part of the electoral process in the country, saying their voters’ card is the only power they have to make the real change happen in 2023.

Speaking in Lagos during a Mega Musical Concert on “Youth Vote Count” organised by EU in partnership with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and some other partners, EU’s Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi said that voters’ turnout in Nigeria remain low and not a good indication for democracy.

She said: ‘You know that voterS’ turnout in Nigeria is very low and that is not good. You also know that voter turnout of young Nigeria is very low which is not good as well. This is why we are here, we need to change this trend, to mobilise the youths.

“You have the power to make change happen, you have the power to make the difference, therefore, dont give up your power because your vote is your power. Your voters card is your power, so get it and use it on the election day because your vote will count.”

Isopi said the number of people registered by INEC in one week showed that the exercise is a huge success and a sign of hope for a better future for Nigeria.

She said it is also a sign of trust and confidence in the electoral process that has made tremendous progress in the last few years.

The ambassador said the reforms, changes, technologies and innovations introduced by INEC have made elections more transparent and credible adding that the changes have also made it possible for the commission to protect the votes of every Nigerian.

The awareness campaign, held at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, aims to mobilise and get youths registered in the Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR).

On his part, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would soon make its stand known on calls for extension of June 30 deadline for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

He also disclosed that no fewer than 5000 people were registered at the TBS registration centre in the last one week.

Amidst several calls for the extension of the CVR, the INEC Chairman told the youths that they would soon hear from the commission and advised them to get their PVC to vote.

He said: “There are two things you want from INEC. One, you want your PVCs. I want to assure you that you would have your PVC. In the last one week, we registered more than 5000 people here. Yesterday, when we saw the crowd that trooped out to register, we said we must change strategy.

“So we said instead of everyone coming to TBS to register, you would register in 20 centres in 20 local government areas in Lagos and more machines would be deployed all over Lagos from next week.

“Secondly, I know you want to hear from INEC, are we going to end the registration on 30th June? We heard you loudly and clearly. You want more time for all Nigerians to register for PVC. You will hear from INEC very soon on that. Next, you want to hear from INEC, if we register and vote, will our votes count? Let me assure you, your votes will count.”

At the Tafawa Balewa Square, where the event took place, many entertainers, singers and content creators spiced up the concert and specifically reminded them to get their permanent voters card (PVC) to be eligible to participate in the elections.

Among the artistes in attendance were Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma; Aituaje Iruobe, known as Waje; Debo Adedayo (Mr. Macaroni); Omawumi Megbele (Omowumi); Adekunle Temitope (Small Doctor), Toyin Abraham Ajeyemi, Comedian, Broda Shaggi and others.

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