- External stakeholders and interest groups have begun preparations ahead of the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria
- A collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yiaga Africa has been brokered to ensure a smooth-running election at the 2023 polls
- However, Nigerian youths have been implored to take advantage of their numbers and decide the outcome of the 2023 polls
FCT, Abuja - In a bid to enhance voter sensitization and mobilization ahead of the 2023 general elections, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yiaga Africa have synergized to ensure the mobilization of 29 million young voters.
The alliance of the two organizations was made official on Friday, May 13 at the United Nation's House in Abuja during the launch of the #SixtyPercentOfUs project.
Our zonal reporter at Legit.ng who was present at the launch gathered that the initiative is targeted at ensuring a high turnout of young voters at the 2023 polls.
Yiaga Africa's executive director, Samson Itodo stated that the initiative seeks to bridge the challenge of mobilizing young Nigerians to turn out and participate in the electoral process.
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He stated that the statistics of registered voters favours the youths noting that young people between the ages of 18-35 years old comprise over 51 per cent of registered voters, a number he emphasized will give youths control at the polls.
"The #SixtyPercentOfUs project aims to leverage this opportunity ahead of the 2023 elections and will host a number of activities that will create platforms for civic engagement and access to information, including the recently launched Power of 18 Challenge."
2023: UNDP clamour for women and youth inclusion
Also speaking at the joint conference, the country representative of the UNDP, Mohamed Yahaya stated that women holds a very critical role in the decision making of any nation that is seeking growth.
He stated that the United Nations is working relentlessly to ensure that those goals are achieved as he made reference to the recent visit of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres to Nigeria who also made a case for women to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yahaya also noted that as much as women inclusion is critical to the 2023 polls, the youth holds a chunk of the responsibility to spur others to participate at the forthcoming polls.
Youths can determine outcome of polls - Cynthia Mbamalu
Meanwhile, Cynthia Mbamalu, director of programs Yiaga Africa held that Nigerian youths have the enormous number to decide their own fate at the 2023 polls.
She harped that only if youths will turn out in their numbers will they be able to foster change and break the circumference of bad leadership in Nigeria.
Cynthia in her message to youths urged them to erase the notion that votes do not count stating that "if votes do not count, politicians won't be buying votes".
Adding to her points, music executive and CEO of TASCK, Jude M.I Abaga stated that it is expedient for young Nigerians to take it upon themselves to decide their own Nigeria as they have envisaged it to be.
He stated he once doubted the electoral process of Nigeria but he now see things from a different perspective.
Mr. Abaga said part of the #SixtyPercentOfUs project is to also to bring personalities from the entertainment industry onboard to use their platform to spread the movement.
2023: There is no alternative to participation, get your PVCs, CSOs tells Nigerian youths
Also, Yiaga Africa in a similar collaboration with OXFAM Nigeria under the #RunToWinNG project staged a convergence of youths to sensitize them on the values of electoral and political participation.
At the event, youths were task to use their potentials to their gains in participating in the electoral process.
According to Yiaga, teh whole idea of the #RunToWin festival was to provide support to younger people to contest and win election and also inspire younger people to register and vote at the forthcoming election.