Nigerian youths numbering thousands, yesterday trooped out en masse to register for their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) at the old parade ground in order to attend a free music concert tagged “Youth Vote Count Mega Concert 2.0.”
The concert which is organised by the European Union (EU) in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other partners is aimed at encouraging more youths to register and vote in the 2023 general elections.
LEADERSHIP gathered that prominent artists such as 2Baba, Phyno, Falz, Teni, Macaroni, among others will perform at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja on Saturday, while admission will be based on people with valid permanent voter’s cards and temporary voter’s cards.
Speaking with press at the ongoing registration, the programme manager, political and democracy section of the European Union, Laolu Olawumi said ‘Youth Vote Count’ initiative is a non-partisan campaign, funded by the EU and was launched in 2018 with the sole objective of getting young people to participate more in the electoral process.
She said the involvement of celebrities in the concert is to inspire the youth given their love for pop culture and connect with celebrities.
“The entire objective of the campaign is just to connect young people to get them to be a little bit more proactive in the governance process and to begin to shift perception for the young party.
“And indeed, what are the critical elements that you can bring into this campaign? Young people you think about pop culture, you think about the fact that they want to connect with celebrities they are intune with the latest technology. So how can we bring that in the campaign to help us mobilise more people?
“So we are trying to bring celebrities, pop artists, bloggers, bring them together to sensitise people on the need to get their PVCs and not just that, but for them to collect the cards when they are ready and come out on election day and vote.”
Also speaking, the executive director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said the involvement of the celebrities is to help mobilise the youths to participate in the 2023 election.
“In Lagos, for the few days that the registration was held, over 11,000 people were added to the voters register from Lagos and we also hope that in Abuja there will be more than that. So we are very excited to see young people show up to register.
“On Saturday there will be a concert and headlining this concert are celebrities who are committed to the democratic project and we have Tubaba, MI, Teni the entertainer, Phyno and numerous others to entertain and mobilise young people to participate in this exercise.”
On his part, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Yahaya Bello said the concert is to ensure that more people participate in the coming election.