EU, Others Take Voter Education to Campus

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Rising from a tension-soaked panel session: Enhancing Youth Participation in the Electoral Process on Tuesda,  over six thousand students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the 2019 general elections in the country is free, fair and credible.

The panel session was held at Princess Alexandria Unity Hall and Theatre, UNN following the clamour for youth participation in the electoral process especially in the forthcoming 2019 general elections in the country.

The participants asked INEC several questions which include dear sir, please, we don’t need vague statements of assurance, tell us the structure that are in place to ensure that INEC is not working for the incumbent administration?

Sir, why is the position of INEC Chairman only occupied by the Northerners alone, are we not one Nigeria? We are aware that the Chairman of INEC was trained by the current President can he work against him in the 2019 general elections?

To these questions and more, INEC answered them to the admiration of all present.

Speaking with newsmen after the outreach which turned out to be a wake up call for the youth express participation in the 2019 general elections in which the youth themselves demanded that INEC must be transparent in the forthcoming elections, the Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to Economic Community of West African States (EWCOWAS), Ambassador Ketil Karlsen and Ambassador of the kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, Mr. Robert Petri said that their mission is to assist in the electoral process in Nigeria, noting that they were not interested in the candidature of any contestant but to ensure that the values of Democracy are deepened in the Country.

They were of the view that development of Democracy is an on-going process, adding that even in Europe that the development of Democracy is still on-going, and that they were happy for the interest, excitement and enthusiasm which the Youth has shown for the electoral process in Nigeria especially in the 2019 general elections.

Asked whether it was only in Nigeria that they were participating , they said no that they were participating in the whole countries in African especially in Nigeria considering that it is the biggest country and has the largest economy, revealing that they had made huge financial investment from 1999 when Democracy kick-started in Nigeria till date.

On when they intend to stop their participation in the democratic process in Nigeria, they said when they are convinced that the democratic process is truly on course in this country that they may consider withdrawing their participation, may be in few years to come.

The panelists include Mr. Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia, Award-winning music Artiste, Ms Chidinma Ekile, Award-Winning music Artiste, Messers Olubankole Willington ‘Bank W’ Award-wining music Artiste, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Lawyer, Award-wining media personality and Comrade Fortunatus Chimezie, Student Union President, UNN.

Those who spoke during the outreach include Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, Vice-Chancellor,UNN represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Charles Arinzechukwu Igwe, Student Union President, UNN, Dr. Emeka Ononamadu Joseph, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Enugu State, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, INEC, who was represented and Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi,Director,voter Education and Publicity, INEC. The moderator was Uti Nwachukwu, Award-Winning Actor/Television presenter.

The highlights of the occasion include launch of voter Education volunteers by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, INEC, the Electoral Officer, Nsukka Local Government Area(LGA), Maazi Christian Elekwa displayed Preliminary Register of Voters (PRV) in all the twenty Electoral Wards in the L.G.A, Music/Poem/Comedy presentation on the programme theme and refreshment.

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