Yiaga Africa’s #ThePowerOf18 Beneficiaries Facilitate 50,000 New Voter Registrations Across 14 states
With the Continuous Voter Registration coming to an end on July 31st, our #ThePowerOf18 Challenge winners in the 14 implementing states of Nigeria have been implementing activities to enable young people to register for their voters' cards. #ThePowerOf18 initiative is under the #SixtyPercentOfUs project aimed at increasing youth voter turnout to 60% by the coming election in 2023 and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In Adamawa state, Jabir Yahya held a weekly radio program on Nas 89.9 FM, Yola to spread the word on the ongoing voter registration. Citizens called into the show and got useful information on where best to register for their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs.) He also held a mega rally, with team members and volunteers who were on hand to help people who needed to transfer or apply for a card replacement. Through his activities, about 1,200 women and 800 men were registered in Adamawa state.
In the same way, Silas Umah in Imo state held awareness and sensitization programs in 3 local government areas – Ohaji Egbema, Owerri West, and Ikeduru LGAs. These directly influenced the registration of over 3000 people in the stated local government areas.
Joy Egbara, #ThePowerOf18 beneficiary in Enugu State provided bus services to transport residents of Nsukka to the local government area office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registration. Together with her team, they were trained by some INEC staff on how to help other citizens transfer, apply for a replacement, or update information on their cards. She also organized an outreach event with members of her team and other residents of Nsukka and visited Ogbede market where they assisted traders with transfers, replacements, or updates of information on their cards. These assisted in the direct registration of about 1,900 women, and 800 men.
In Ogun state, Adetula Praise worked with INEC to map out local government areas with very low registration rates and then deployed her team members to those communities. She provided transportation allowance for Ogun State Institute of Technology students who came to INEC offices to register for their PVC. She also partnered with other young influencers in Ogun state to sensitize people on the ongoing CVR. With her mobilization activities, she contributed to the registration of about 6000 people in Ogun state.
Together with a team of 20, Shehu Ayuba Musa deployed two persons each to LGAs in Kebbi State. These groups went house to house and encouraged people who had not registered for their voters' cards to visit the nearest INEC offices and register. They also assisted with transfers, replacements, and updates of cards. He directly affected the registration of about 5000 persons in Kebbi state.
Asabe Joshua in Gombe state rotated team members who frequently visited Amana FM, Gombe to talk about the CVR exercise and the importance of young people seizing the opportunity. Listeners called into the radio programs and asked questions, to which the team provided the necessary information. They also visited 6 LGAs in the state, engaged with religious leaders and schools, and sensitized people on voter registration. During street rallies, she and team members also assisted people with transfers, replacements, and information updates on their cards. With their help, about 4,500 people in Gombe state registered for their PVCs.
Imran Ujih visited different wards in Keffi, Nasarawa state, and sensitized people to avoid selling their votes, and the importance of participating in the continuous voter registration exercise. He contributed to the registration of about 2,700 people in Keffi.
Not to be left out, Anas Sanusi conducted outreach programs in 147 wards in Zamfara state and sensitized them on the importance of getting their PVCs. His team also worked with INEC in many LGA offices to provide order and organization in the registration offices. They also assisted with transfers and updating information for people, to reduce the burden on INEC officials.
In the same vein, Victor Obilaegwu deployed to different local government areas in Benue state and facilitated the arrival of INEC at some catholic churches in different communities in the state. He and his team, through their activities directly helped with the registration of over 2200 people in Benue State.
In Plateau state, Azurfa Ali carried out massive sensitization in Shendam, Bassa, Jos North, Jos South, and Pankshin local government areas. She provided residents of the communities with important information that would enable them to participate in the CVR, and also assisted with the transfers and updates of information. With her help, over 2,600 people were registered across these communities.
In Yobe state, Manji Silas recognized the power that traditional rulers hold and so he engaged with traditional rulers in 3 communities of Yobe state. These traditional rulers then engaged their people and encouraged them to register for their PVCs. They also added some incentives to this and so many people registered for the PVCs in these communities. He and his team also embarked on door-to-door sensitization and answered questions people have regarding the CVR exercise. With his help, over 5000 persons were registered.
While carrying out his voter mobilization activities, Oluwasunkanmi Oni visited many football viewing centers in Ondo state and got the time to educate viewers on voter registration. In doing these, he got the commitment of several young men to register for their PVCs. He also held outreach events at churches and markets and assisted people with the application for transfers, card replacements, and information updates. Through his mobilization activities, over 4000 people registered for their PVCs.
Susan Okolie held town hall meetings with youth and women leaders, and some groups in the disabled communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). She got a commitment from these leaders to involve their members in the continuous voter registration exercise. She also mobilized residents of the Abuja Municipal and Kwali Area Councils in the FCT to visit the Old Parade ground for their registration. With footprints in almost all communities in the FCT, she facilitated the registration of over 4000 people in the FCT.
And finally, in Lagos state, Khadijat Adekanmbi carried out massive sensitization with her team members in a slum in Ikorodu. She provided free transportation to INEC registration offices, for Persons with Disabilities. Sign language translators were provided for the deaf to aid them in their registrations. Registration for these groups of people was done in just a few days. She also mobilized the students of Lagos State University, Ojo campus, and contributed to INEC deployment of some of their staff to aid with registration for students. Through her actions, over 4000 people registered for their PVCs.
Despite the various challenges faced by the beneficiaries of #ThePowerOf18 ranging from security to logistics, they were able to bring their youthful zest and creativity to directly facilitate and influence the addition of about 50,000 citizens to the voters’ register.
The beneficiaries will continue to engage their communities to ensure that registered voters also collect their PVCs to be prepared for the general elections.