The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday, said there would be no proper election without the participation of the youths.
Yakubu said this at the INEC Youth Votes Count Campus Outreach organised by the Commission in commemoration of Europe Day at the University of Lagos.
The INEC boss, who noted that the youths make the democratic system work, urged them to register, vote and make the necessary change they all desired.
“There cannot be a proper election without the youths. You are everything. You don’t know the power that you have. You make the democratic system work.
“I know part of the reasons you would give for those who have not registered is that there are very few registration centres and you have to queue for a very long time and not end up registering.
“Secondly, it would take a long time before you get your PVCs. Sadly, you would say at the end of the day your vote won’t count. If these are the reasons, you have no reasons.
“INEC is coming to you and, therefore, a point I want to make is that at the end of this programme, our registration centres will be opened right outside this hall so that each and every one of you who have not registered should seize the opportunity to register,” Yakubu said.
He, however, assured the students that the registration centre would be available as long as there were people willing to register.
The Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, while assuring the students that their votes would count, said, “Today, the battle you have to fight is to get your PVC and vote rightly. If you want the good times to come, get your voter cards and vote. If you think that your votes will not count, forget it because it is a new day in INEC and also a new day in the electoral process in the country.”
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, noted that all Nigerians had a crucial role to play in the democratic process and all the segments of the population must be fully mobilised and hence the voter education campaign for students must be applauded.
He said, “One of the worthy causes to which young people’s interest and ideas should be directed in Nigeria is the attainment of good governance; and to attain good governance, young people must be involved in the electoral and political processes.
“They cannot be effective change agents if they remain aloof or become apathetic towards political and electoral processes.”