The European Union (EU) is partnering with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other key stakeholders to hold a concert as part of efforts to ensure that Nigerian youths participate more in the electoral process, especially as the 2023 elections draw near.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that 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 on June 11 at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
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According to a statement by the organisers, the event will be leveraging the pop culture prevalent among young Nigerians to raise awareness on the importance of actively participating 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 voters cards 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.
Speaking about the event, the European Union ambassador, Samuela Isopi, said, “For the European Union in general, the youth are 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 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 on 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; that is 18 and 25 years.”