CVR: INEC unveils ‘Youth Vote Count’ campaign with music concert in Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Monday began `Youth Vote Count’ awareness campaign to mobilise youths for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, said this at the event at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos.

The commissioner said that the exercise was in collaboration with the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).

Agbaje added that EU was partnering with INEC as well as YIAGA to ensure that the Nigerian youths were encouraged to participate fully in the ongoing CVR and vote in 2023 general elections.

“We find out that the youth from the records are supposed to be the one taking the lead. We have many groups in this category of people.

“We can see here many of the youth around, who have yet to register with all our activities we have been doing.

“We feel that one of the areas we can begin to capture them is through concert and that is why this exercise will go on from Monday today till Saturday noon.

According to him, between 2.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. on Saturday, the music carnival will hold where many artistes of youth admirers will display.

He added: “The only access card expected of them is either their PVCs or TVCs to show that they have registered. We want them to know that the artistes they like are going to be around.

“We want to encourage the youth to love Nigeria, politics and governance and participate for us to have good election in 2023.

“Our goal is not only about registering for PVCs but also to prepare them ahead because campaign will soon start.

“They must not be used to cause problem or violence either during campaigns or during the election time.

Agbaje said that if youths failed to register now before the window of CVR closed on June 30, they would not be able to vote in 2023.

He said that youths or adults who had not registered and were 18 years and above, those who had relocated or had their card damaged or lost to approach the TBS for whatever activities they wanted to carry out on CVR.

“2023 election is a battle to save our country and young people have that generational burden to do so.

He said that the YIAGA would also take the concert to Abuja on June 25 and other cities in the six geo-political zones.

Mr Samson Itodo, the Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, described as appalling a situation where Nigerian youths with demographic majority, were not showing up in electoral process.

“Youth people are not voting. We are working to mobilise young people to come out in 2023 election.

“If 60 per cent of young people will come out to vote, then Nigeria will get the leaders that it deserves, especially if they are voting wisely both at the state and national elections.

“A lot of young people are angry with what is happening in the country but it is not enough to be angry and ventilate outrage on social media, it is doing the right thing.

“There would be no difference if they do not register, collect their PVCs and vote at the next elections.

“The election is about young people and young people must make their number to count by coming out to vote,” Itodo said.

He added the concert slated for Saturday would feature celebrities and people with huge followership as part of efforts to mobilise youth to get involved in electoral process.

The director said that YIAGA’s goal was to get about 100,000 registered through the mega concert on Youth Vote Count.

One of the youths, who seized the opportunity to do transfer of his PVCs to his new residence, Mr Sunday Ofem, commended INEC and its partners, saying “I want to vote and I want my vote to count.’’

Another youth, Mr Sunday Binbol said “Honestly, I am excited, this is my first time of doing this. I just decided that I suppose to start voting in elections.”

Also, Mr Jacob Freeman, another youth, who was registering for the first time, said that the idea of bringing the CVR to the door step of people was the best.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC provided 30 work stations to register youths and others who presented themselves for the exercise at TBS. (NAN)

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