As Nigerians prepare for the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC) has called on youths in Niger state to compel all candidates vying for elective positions to present their manifestoes before they can vote for them.
Making this call when he played host to the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, (FOMWAN) to a Round Table Discussion with Youths, INEC, Media Civil Society Organizations on Implemenation of Voter Education Project for the 2023 General Elections with support from leap Africa, MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation at the State INEC Office, Minna, the Niger State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ahmed Yusha’U Garki said only candidates who mean well for the country be voted in.
Garki assured that the Commission is ready to collaborate with the group especially in the area of voters education to see that youths shun violence.
According to him “I charged youths in the State to ask politicians to provide their manifestoes before they can be voted for. Youths should be able to ask them (candidates) what they have for the youths if they eventually emerge victorious.
“We want the youths to be useful to themselves and to the society. I challenge youths to get the statistics of those who have registered and then get the data of eligible youths so that they can see their strength in changing the narratives.
“Inasmuch as we need prayers for the general elections, the youths must vote in only those who have the political will to change things for the better. This can be achieved if they (youths) engage these politicians”.
Furthermore, while stating that so far, two million, seven hundred thousand (2,700,000) voters have registered in Niger State, Garki said there are only two officially recognized Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp of Gwada and Kuta in the State that persons can cast their votes, adding that there are several unofficial camps the INEC is considering too.
In her remarks, the Amirah of FOMWAN, Hajia Kulu Abdullahi said the aim of the visit is to see that the election is peaceful without violence or any form of intimidation.
In his presentation, the Project Officer, Ahmed Abdulsalam, said Leap Africa in partnership with MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation established the Nigeria Youth Future Fund (NYFF) to provide targeted capacity building, youth ecosystem building.
He added that the Foundations give financial support to youth led movements and organizations in Nigeria, in order sustain their work locally and to facilitate opportunities for learning.
According to him “part of our objectives is to educate the public about the electoral process and its implications on election results; to charge Nigerians especially youths on the need to collect their permanent voter’s card and to participate actively in the forthcoming election”.