In preparation for the upcoming 2019 general elections, Nigerian youths are lending their voices in anticipation. There are expectations that the elections will be ‘Free and Fair’.
The award was held on the 27th of Oct, 2018 in Ikeja Lagos.
The just-concluded Trek Africa Awards and National Discourse 2018, presented such platform for young people to air their views with regards the upcoming elections.
Furthermore, this is the 8th edition of the award. It was themed ‘Curbing the Twin Bottleneck of Vote Buying and Voter Apathy’ and it had several prominent Nigerians in attendance.
The Special Adviser on Communications to the Honourable Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Hakeem Bello who was represented by Mr Adewale Ogunniran said:
“It is very possible to hold credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria.”
However, he said that Nigerians should not expect politicians to do that just out of necessity.
“It is not possible for politicians to conduct free and fair elections going by the money invested in the process. It is only the Independent National Electoral Commission that can do so”.
He also went on to commend the electoral umpire for the giant strides so far. Although he asked them to do more and urged Nigerians to support the agency.
He said: “One good thing that INEC has done so far is to demand to look into the finances of each political party. Nigerians should support this body to be successful. It is to our best interest that they succeed.”
In the same forum, Ms Novo Isioro, the Special Assistant on Visual Communication to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo advised youths to take the 2019 elections seriously stating.
“You should know that you are not helping anybody by participating actively in the elections, you are helping yourself.
“Let every youth know that any decision that is made is coming back to us. We cannot keep complaining and do nothing and expect better.”
Prophet Segun Olumegbon who also spoke at the event asked the electoral umpire to have a robust engagement with the citizens, so as to ensure the success of the elections.
According to him: “Education should come from the grassroots in order to build the political structure of the country. When people are politically educated, they can make informed decisions which will improve the politics and economy of the nation.”
Photo Credit: King Solomon Ekhaiyeme