YIAGA AFRICA Partners INEC on Campus Outreach, Voter Education Program, YouthVotesCount

BasketMouth, A.Y, Omolola Jakade-Ekeinde, and Helen Paul call on students to register and collect their PVCs

On 25th June 2018, even though the rains have come to stay, it was a bright sunny day in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The J.F Ade Ajayi Auditorium was filled to the brim; the stage alit with bright lights and an impressive panel. All was set for the second Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Campus Outreach in collaboration with YIAGA Africa, and European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).

After a successful debut Campus Outreach in University of Abuja headlined by prominent celebrities such as musicians TuFace “TuBaba” Idibia, Cobhams and comedienne Helen Paul, INEC decided to take the second phase of #YouthsVoteCount to the University of Lagos. This time, the celebrity line-up was made up of Omotola Jakade-Ekeinde, Ayo “AY” Mayokun, BasketMouth and Helen Paul.

As expected, the hall was filled with students who were fans of these celebrities, and the best way to get today’s youth is by imbibing their interest with things they love and appreciate, like the talented four seated at the stage before them. All in all, it was expected to be a rapturous and successful event, and it was!

The Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, alongside the Programs Manager, Democracy, Governance and Migration for the Delegation of European Union to Nigeria and Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Laolu Olawumi took the stage to welcome the students, and to also indulge everyone on how necessary it was for Nigeria at this moment, to be conversant with the initiative of #YouthsVoteCount. With the incoming 2019 elections gearing closer with each passing day, the importance of getting one’s Permanent Voters Card (PVC) cannot be over-emphasized.

The need for youths to be fully and passionately engaged in governmental matters is immensely necessary, and this was why INEC was making the push for to engage youths from across different tertiary institutions across the country to be fully a part of the movement of #YouthsVoteCount.

The INEC Chairman Professor Yakubu Mahmood, made the welcome address to the students, encouraging them for showing interest in governance and the need to take the electoral process to heart. The panellist answered decisive questions from the audience, who mainly had questions that bridged on the collection of PVCs, the bureaucracy and difficulty that allegedly surrounded it.

Also in attendance was the Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karlsen, who gave his thanks to the crowd of students, appreciating their eagerness and efforts of being a part of the movement, and their enthusiasm to know everything they can about collection of PVCs, and the electoral process in general. The celebrities also gave their insights on how the students and youths can get more engaged in the process—by starting up the bare necessity of getting their PVCs. With that hurdle crossed, there will be an assurance of getting and being a part of the 2019 Elections, and hopefully, making their votes count!



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