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CVR: INEC, EU unveil mass registration with music concert in Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, in partnership with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), on Monday began the Youth Vote Count awareness campaign to mobilise youths across the state for the on-going nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.

The initiative, which is holding at Tafawa Balewa Square, will end on Saturday, and it is attracting a large turnout of Nigerians who are registering to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, charged Lagosians , especially the youth to maximise the opportunity to obtain their PVCs ahead of next year’s elections.

He said that the EU was partnering with INEC as well as YIAGA Africa to ensure that the Nigerian youths were encouraged to participate fully in the on-going CVR and vote in the 2023 general election.

He lamented that about 13,355 PVCs which were ready had not been collected in the state, despite the commission’s effort, adding that it was time Nigerians showed more concern about the electoral process.

Laolu Olawunmi, programme manager, European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), said the Youth Vote Count initiative was a non-partisan initiative that was launched in 2018, with the sole aim of getting young people to participate more in the electoral process in the country.

He stressed that the programme was initiated because of the overwhelming high number of voter apathy among the youth in Nigeria, while also giving people in local communities’ opportunity to obtain their PVCs.

According to her, “The Youth Vote Count is a non-partisan initiative that was launched in 2018 with the sole aim of getting young people to participate more in the electoral process.

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“We all know that the population of young people in the country is huge, but that has not translated to effective representation and that is simply what the ‘Youth Vote Count’ is all about. That is, how can we get more young Nigerians to get involved?

“We are not just to get involved but to encourage them with their families, communities to get involved. Nigerians belong to everyone and we should not want them to neglect this process.

“We know there is voter apathy, it is because people don’t want to get involved and the reason is because people don’t believe that the system would work for them.

Samson Itodo, executive Director of YIAGA Africa, which is one of the partnering organisations for the programme, charged Nigerians, especially the youths to show interest in the leadership recruitment process in the country, adding that active citizen participation inspires confidence in election outcome.

He stressed that the event would be completed with a concert on Saturday which would be free for Nigerians who have their TVC’s or PVC’s as entry requirement, adding that several leading music artists and Nollywood stars are scheduled to perform and speak at the event.

Among the artists that would perform are 2Baba, Patoranking, Bella Shmurda, Small Doctor, Omawumi MI, Teni, Waje among several others.

Organisers said there would be free transportation, to convene people to TBS at different locations within Lagos State.

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