By James Sowole
A non profit foundation, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECECS), yesterday tasked youth in Ondo State to vote right in the October 10 Governorship Election, for the sake of their future.
The foundation made the call in Akure, Ondo State, at a programme tagged “Awareness Creation For Young Female Voters” in support of the Governorship Election.
The programme was organised by ECECS in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and drew participants from various youth dominated Non Governmental Organisations in the state.
Addressing participants, the ECECS Senior Project Officer, Mr Sylvester Somo, stressed the need for the Nigerian youth to participate in the electoral process for a virile and vibrant democracy.
According to the project officer, youth inclusiveness in the electoral process, adds value to the attainment of democracy as the
government of the people by the people and for the people.
He said since youth constitute a significant of the total population and many of whom are first time voters, there was need for them to be properly guided before, during and after voting.
Also speaking, the Senior Electoral Adviser Expert for ECECS, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, admonished the youth to mobilise themselves towards participating actively in the forthcoming election in the state.
He advised the youth against any act that negates the principles of democracy.
Yahaya specifically, warned them not to engage in vote buying or selling and to avoid engaging in any practice that can expose them to any problem during the poll.
The expert advised the youth to vote according to their conscience in line with the manifesto of a political party of their choice.
ECES is proud to be part of this laudable initiative which seeks to mobilize the energetic youth
female of Ondo state as active participants in the forthcoming governorship election.
“The youth must transform
the elections into a celebration of choices rather than being a drama.
“Young people must reject all forms of violence and refuse to be a tool of manipulation.
“The youth must refuse acts like vote buying/ selling and base the choice on the content of manifestos of political parties
rather than on any pecuniary gain”, Yahaya said.
Declaring the programme open, the Deputy Director,Gender of the INEC, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu, said the commission was committed to policies aimed at encouraging young women and youth to participate actively in electoral processes.
She said: “As a demonstration of its commitment and abiding faith in young women as a target group, the INEC has made it a tradition to always engage with the young, both male and female, especially during election.”