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Why we’re partnering INEC to ensure youths get their PVCs – EU

The European Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria says its collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure youths get their permanent voter cards (PVCs) is geared towards deepening the country’s democratic process.

Laolu Olawunmi, EU programme manager, Democracy and Rule of Law, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja,

He noted that the “youth vote count” campaign is to ensure youths get their PVCs and vote.

Olawunmi said though many young people have their PVCs, they do not come out to vote.

“The EU has been a strong major partner of the Nigerian government, particularly since the return to democracy in 1999. We have quite an array of programmes in a development portfolio and one of our flagship programmes is in support to democratic governance. One of the things we like to highlight in that programme is very locally led, very Nigerian driven and it is unique in that sense,” she said.

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“Over the last couple of years, we have tried to answer an important question and it is ‘how do we get young people to be involved in the political process?’

“If you look at the data from INEC, we have a high number of young people in terms of our population but that doesn’t translate to engagement in the political process.

“That question is what we tried to answer as to why we came up with the campaign, ‘youth vote count’, in 2018. The campaign is to connect young people with centres of power, to get them proactive in the government process, and to begin to shift government and perception of young people.

“We are trying to get the young people to get their PVCs, collect the cards when they are ready, and for them to come out and vote.”

Olawunmi said the EU is organising a “youth vote count” concert in Abuja, in collaboration with INEC and YIAGA Africa, a civil society organisation (CSO).

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