As part of efforts to ensure that the Nigerian youths participate in, and engage more with, the electoral process, especially as the 2023 elections draw near, the European Union (EU) is partnering with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other key stakeholders to boost the process.
To this end, the first “Youth Vote Count 2.0” campaign concert, which is being organised by the European Union Support to Democratic Governance Programme in Nigeria (EU SDGN), in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders like Yiaga Africa, DAI, is scheduled to be held by 9 am on June 11, 2022, at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
The event will be leveraging the pop culture prevalent among young Nigerians to raise awareness on the importance of them to actively participate in the electoral process, while providing a platform for them to engage the electoral umpire – (INEC).
Select Nigerian celebrities – musicians, comedians, OAPs etc., – will grace the stage with their craft, to urge young people to get registered, collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), and ensure they come out en masse to vote for the candidates of their choice during the elections, while assuring them that their votes will count.
The musicians slated to perform include: Kizz Daniel, M.I, Teni, Omawumi, Mayorkun, Waje, 2Baba, Patoranking, Skiibii, Ashake, Small Doctor, Falz and Bella Shmurda.
Other celebrities and influencers include: Ufuoma McDermott, Chioma Akpotha, Uti Nwachukwu, Uche Jombo, Lasisi Elenu, Kie Kie, Mr. Macaroni, Real Warri Pikin, Omoni Oboli, Toyin Abraham Ajeyemi, and Broda Shaggi.
While only a PVC or temporary voters slip admits anyone, those who don’t have their PVC or temporary voters slip can register at the TBS between June 6th to 11th.
Speaking about the event, the European Union Ambassador, Samuela Isopi, said: “For the European Union in general, that demography – the youth, is extremely important to us. The question now is – how can we get young people to be more involved in matters that are as critical as the political and governance process?
“Oftentimes, we see that there is that huge disconnect between young people and the decision makers. We also think that it is not because some of them are not aware, but because of lack of trust in the process, and that they do not understand or take it for granted that their views will not be taken into consideration.
“This is where the Youth Vote Count comes in. For us, what we count as the positive to the process is the fact that – first, we pride ourselves and focus a lot about the non-partisan nature of the campaign. It is a civic campaign that is extremely non-partisan, with one single objective – to mobilise young people, especially the people within the younger bracket of young people ‘so to speak,’ that is, 18 and 25 years.
“In any youth vote count activity, we provide a platform for young people and INEC to engage. You will see that in any Youth Vote Count campaign or activity, we bring INEC on the one hand and young people on the other hand to engage in the process,” Isopi said.