2Baba Idibia, Cobhams, Helen Paul did not come to UniAbuja to entertain. The trio came for serious business.
The trio, who are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) youth ambassadors, arrived the university with a single purpose – to educate the students on the need to actively participate in the process of electing their leaders into power.
The campus outreach was organised by INEC in collaboration with the European Union (EU), European Center for Electoral Support and Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa.
Youths constitute over 60 percent of the Nigeria's population. Sadly, most young people in Nigeria show little or no interest in election matters.
Aside the cases of violence recorded during elections, young people in Nigerian have stayed off the process often for fears that their votes may not count due to electoral malpractices.
Speaking at the event, INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu assured the students that their votes will count in the forthcoming elections.
“I want to take an undertaking before you all here today,” he said with his hand raised.
“I assure you that your votes will count. In 2019, only the votes cast by Nigerians will count,” the INEC boss declared.
How about PLWD..?
Cobhams was more concerned about the modalities in place to ensure that People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) are able to vote without help or discrimination.
Narrating his experience during the 2015 general elections, Cobhams said unlike others who casted their votes secretly, his wife and others knew who he voted for.
The multiple-award winning musician and producer advocated provisions for PLWDs to exercise their Constitutional rights like everyone else.
In his reaction, the INEC chairman noted that electoral umpire had begun provision of magnifying glasses for persons with partial visual impairment and special ballot papers for the blind.
Cobhams also called to INEC to address the case of underage voting in some parts of the country.
Take your destiny in your hands
Regardless of the frenzy whenever he spoke, 2Baba, urged said the youths have the power to determine their future by the type of leaders the vote into elective positions.
The music legend urged Nigerian youths to not just register and collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) but also come out and vote in the 2019 elections.
“My generation believed our votes will not count and that is why we have people from the other generation still as our leaders today. Nigerian youths, rise up and take your destinies in your hands.
“It is not enough to register and vote. You can also register as a member of a political party so that you begin to grow in the process so that your own will be different from our own,” he advised.
Comedienne Helen was in her element when reacting to questions from students.
She urged Nigerian students to vote persons who will deliver the dividends of democracy to the people and not fall for the deceit of some politicians.
She also presented gifts to the Student Union Government President, Bashir Obasanjo.
This was shortly before Helen took off her wig right before everyone.
Yes, she did.
PVC is your ticket to a good life
Earlier, the director, voter education and publication at INEC, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, describe the PVC a ticket to good life.
“Your PVC is your ticket to good life and right to enjoy the dividends of democracy depending on your choice. Choose wisely but most of all, register and collect it. Participate in the process of election,” he said.
YIAGA’s executive director, Samson Itodo, who anchored the event maintained that young people can only become the leaders of tomorrow if the get involved in the process today.
The were also goodwill messages from the Executive Director of the ECES, Fabio Bergacchi; Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlson; and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Michael Adikwu.