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#YouthVoteCount 2.0: Celebrities Thrill, Educate Fans on Electoral Process, as 17,000 Abuja Residents Get Registered to Vote

 

Sequel to the Mega Concert held in Lagos, the Youth Vote Count Mega concert trail landed in Abuja as host of celebrities and superstars thrill and educate Abuja residents on the need to actively participate in the electoral process. The Youth Vote Count is a non-partisan civic campaign designed to mobilize citizens, especially young people to participate in the electoral process. Leveraging youth pop culture, technology, and media, the campaign promotes positive political behavioral attitudes amongst young people. 

Crowd at the #YouthVoteCountNG Mega Concert in Abuja
Crowd at the #YouthVoteCountNG Mega Concert in Abuja

Through the Mega Concert tagged Youth Vote Count 2.0,  Yiaga Africa, and the European Union successfully worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register over 17,000 Nigerians in Abuja; climaxing the  Mega Concert that featured various pop artists and entertainers. The registration took place at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja, between Monday, 20th June and Saturday, 25th June 2022. At the end of these six days, INEC had registered about 17,000 Nigerians who are getting ready to vote in the coming general elections.

Citizens awaiting their turn to undergo voter registration
Citizens awaiting their turn to undergo voter registration

In his words during the mega concert, the INEC Chairman, Mahmud Yakubu said, “Here in this place, we have 50 voter registration machines. Two weeks ago, we deployed more machines to the states. More machines left yesterday and more machines are leaving today all over the country. By Monday there will be more machines to register more Nigerians.

“So, we will not stop registration until we are satisfied that those who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so”, he added. 

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu speaking at the concert
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu speaking at the concert

He also asked Nigerians to come out and vote during the elections, as he promised, on behalf of the Commission, that their votes will count.

Also speaking during the event, Samuela Isopi, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appreciated the thousands of Nigerian youths present at the Mega concert for their dedication and effort towards participating in the electoral process.  She said, “this is the way to build democracy. This is the way you can get better governance, a better future, and a better Nigeria.”

“We the European Union, we stand by you, we want to work together with you to make Nigerian democracy stronger; now this is the result of a great partnership,” she concluded.

Her Excellency Ambassador Samuela Isopi, Head of the European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS speaking at the concert
Her Excellency Ambassador Samuela Isopi, Head of the European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS speaking at the concert

Speaking to the youths, famous skit maker and activist, Mr. Macaroni charged the youths to intensify their efforts towards demanding good governance. ‘‘Nigeria is our own, and this is the time to make it better. With our PVCs, we have the power to elect the person who can help us build a better Nigeria."

Skit maker and activist, Mr. Macaroni
Skit maker and activist, Mr. Macaroni

Also speaking halfway into her performance, legendary singer and actress Omawunmi asked young people to desist from electoral violence and vote-buying. In her words, “whatever amount they give you to vote for them, divide it by 4 (years), and tell me if it is worth it. Your future is too bright to be sold. Vote your conscience,” she charged.

Singer, Omawumi at the concert
Singer, Omawumi at the concert

On his own part, rapper Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz decried the corruption in Nigeria’s political system. He further warned young people against recycling corrupt politicians while urging them to vote right come 2023. 

Rapper, Falz
Rapper, Falz

The concert had performances from artistes including 2Face, Phyno, Teni, M.I, Omawunmi, Waje, Asake, Cobhams, Falz, Zlatan, Ice Prince, and many others. The first leg of the project happened in Lagos two weeks ago where over 11,000 Nigerians were registered at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island within a week. 

Tuface Idibia
Tuface Idibia
Jude 'M.I.' Abaga
Jude 'M.I.' Abaga
Waje
Waje

 

Artistes took turns in educating and exposing  young people to the importance of voting at elections while equipping them with the vital information and resources required to participate in the electoral process. The campaign is a concerted effort to contribute to existing efforts aimed at deepening democratic practice through active citizens participation in transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections. 

Teni the Entertainer
Teni the Entertainer
Phyno
Phyno

Youth Vote Count is situated against the background of the incremental decline in voter turnout for elections, especially youth turnout for elections. According to INEC, turnout for the general election has not crossed the 50% threshold since 2015. Data from INEC also shows that 51.11% of registered voters are young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years. However, youth turnout for the 2019 election was fixed at 46%. The decline is attributed to distrust in the INEC and the electoral process, inaccuracies in the voter register, poor voter mobilization, threats of violence, bad governance, militarization of election, amongst other factors. The reversal of this trend could be achieved with a political mobilization strategy premised on innovation, inclusion, collaboration, consistency, and context-specific interventions.

Singer and producer Cobhams Asuquo
Singer and producer Cobhams Asuquo

 

Rapper Ice Prince
Rapper Ice Prince
Sani Danja
Sani Danja
Asake
Asake
Singer, Adam Zango
Singer, Adam Zango
Concert hosts, KieKie and Real Warri Pikin
Concert hosts, KieKie and Real Warri Pikin 
Actor and TV Personality Uti Nwachukwu
Actor and TV Personality Uti Nwachukwu
Zlatan Ibile
Zlatan Ibile
Actor and comedian Broda Shaggi
Actor and comedian Broda Shaggi

 

About

Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.