Text of a Press Conference on #YouthVoteCount 2.0 Concert at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos
Tuesday, 7th June 2022
EU, INEC, Yiaga Africa, DAI and others launch mega music concerts to mobilize the youth vote
As the countdown to the 2023 general election begin, the low turnout of voters for elections remains a major concern for electoral stakeholders. More worrisome is the level of youth turnout for elections. According to INEC, despite constituting the large population on the voter register, the youth turnout in the 2019 general election was less than 30%. In Lagos state, youth turnout was less than 5% in the 2019 elections. As a demographic majority, the participation of youth in the electoral process signals progress and it rekindles hope in participatory democracy.
It is for this reason that the European Union funded Support to Democratic Governance Programme (EU-SDGN) with all its implementing partners like Yiaga Africa, DAI, International Press Centre, Institute of Media and Society and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are launching the second edition of the Youth Vote Count project. The first in the series was launched in 2018 and resulted in the voter registration of over 25,000 young Nigerians. The Youth Vote Count campaign is a non-partisan civic campaign designed to promote positive political behavioral attitudes amongst young people. It leverages popular culture, technology and media to mobilize young people to participate in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection. Ultimately, the campaign contributes to existing efforts aimed at deepening democratic practice through active citizens participation in transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections.
As part of activities outlined under the Youth Vote Count 2.0, mega music concerts will hold in major cities across Nigeria. The first in series of concerts holds at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos on Saturday 11th June 2022 at 9:00am. An estimated twenty-five thousand youths are expected to participate in the Lagos concert. Access to the concert is free, however, participants will be required to present their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) or Temporary Voter Slip before accessing the concert venue.
Embedded in the concert, is the conduct of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) at the venue of the concert. The goal is to decentralize the CVR process and avail Nigerians people with the opportunity to register. INEC will conduct voter registration in all the concert venues to enable people who don’t have a PVC or TVS to register so they can obtain the entry pass for the concert. For Lagos, the CVR will hold in the Tafawa Balewa Square between 6th – 11th June 2022.
Nigeria’s most celebrated and civically conscious musicians, comedians, OAPs, social media influencers, – will grace the stage with their craft, while lending their voices to encourage the youth to get registered, collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), and ensure they come out enmasse to vote for the candidates of their choice during the elections, while assuring them that their votes will count.
The major headliners include: Kizz Daniel, M.I, Teni, Falz, Omawumi, Mayorkun, Waje, JoeBoy, 2Baba, Patoranking, Skiibii, Ashake, Small Doctor, Pasuma 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. Through this initiative, the partners hope to foster constructive engagement between citizens and democratic institutions like INEC. This is based on the assumption that improved engagement between INEC and citizens will enhance knowledge and understanding of the electoral process, which engenders trust and confidence in the electoral process. It is hoped that the Youth Vote Count will boost INEC’s responsiveness to queries, objections and enquires on CVR, and PVC collection. Other markers of success include heightened level of youth turnout for the final phase of the voter registration process. It is expected that all first-time voters who are predominantly young people will collect their PVCs once produced by INEC and turn up on election day to vote.
- Olusegun Agbaje, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos
- Laolu Olawumi, Program Manager, European Union
- Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa
- Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, International Press Center
- Dr. Akin Akingbulu, Executive Director, Institute of Media & Society
- Jude Abaga (MI), CEO TASCK