…as INEC promises to extend voter registration deadline
By Rita Esegine
Head of the Eureopean Union delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador Samuela Isopi, has appealed to youths in the country not to sell their votes during the forth coming general elections scheduled to hold in 2023.
This came as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the June 30 deadline for the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) would be extended.
This was disclosed on Saturday during the Youth Vote Count concert at the old parade ground, Abuja, organised by INEC in partnership with EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) and YIAGA Africa to mobilise youths across the state for the on-going nationwide CVR exercise.
Isopi who insisted that youths in Nigeria have the numbers to drive a positive change in the country, urged them to challenge the elders and leaders to stand for their value.
He said: “This is the start of a great change. We can feel the energy. Nigerians are mobilising and there is this feeling that this time they are ready to be driver of change. You have the Power to drive positive change. Get your PVC and use it. Your votes will count and don’t give up your power. don’t sell your votes because if you sell your votes, you sell your future.
“Go out and challenge your leaders and stand for your values. This is the way to build democracy, to have a better governance and a better Nigeria. The EU will stand by you and by all Nigerians to make Nigeria democracy stronger.”
Announcing an extension in deadline for CVR, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu
was however silent on the duration of the extension, even as he added that distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the ongoing CVR exercise would begin in October, 2022.
“The youth want to know when the registration will end. I want to assure you on behalf of the commission that the registration won’t end on June 30 for as along as we have you people trying to register, we will continue to register you. In the last five days, we have register over 14000 Nigerians in this place alone. We have about 50 voter registration machines.
“Also, by next Monday, we will deploy more machines to register Nigerians. We won’t stop registration until we are satisfy that those who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so.
“When will your PVCs be ready for collection? PVCs will be ready for collection latest by October this year long before the election. I want to thank you for making the PVC the most popular Identification Card.”
Reacting to echoes of no rigging from the youths, Yakubu assured them their votes would count saying, “Ekiti governorship poll is good, Osun will be better and 2023 general elections will be the best. Your votes will count. For those who are yet to register, kindly do so to vote.”