The Student Union Government of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, (UNIZIK) in partnership with YIAGA Africa, Tri-AFRICA and other student bodies are working together to mobilise the students to register, collect their Permanent Voters Card, vote and engage in the upcoming Anambra State election.
Following the opening of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) online pre-registration portal on the 28th of June 2021 for the continuous voters’ registration process. Various student organisations in the school have been working to ensure that UNIZIK students register and participate actively in the upcoming election.
This will be the first time INEC organises an online CVR process and research shows that this change has been warmly received by citizens as figures reveal that 1.3m citizens registered for the CVR process within five weeks as reported by Daily Trust on the 4th of August 2021.
According to the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), the number of fresh online pre-registrants had reached 1,3777,733 while 120,600 citizens have completed their physical registration since the exercise commenced.
Following the statistics, Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 34 are still leading in both online registration, 65% and completed registration, 70%. In terms of occupation, students are leading in both pre-registration 32% and completed registration 42%.
The results show that as more students register, this indicates a positive outcome for the online registration process that allows citizens to register from their comfort spaces and at convenient times. This has also helped to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
YIAGA Africa, a non-profit hub for change-makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement and its ambassadors ,and the SUG in UNIZIK have vowed to get the students to register, collect and engage in the upcoming Anambra State governorship election.
Mr Nonso, a final year student of UNIZIK, and Ms Damaris, a lawyer and former student of UNIZIK, who are in partnership with YIAGA Africa are currently running a programme tagged: #ThePowerOf18 aimed at mobilising the youths to register, vote and engage in politics.
So far, the team has mobilised over 1000 students in UNIZIK from the age of 18 to 25 to register for their Permanent Voters Card. The team provides free internet connections, free transport to the venue for capturing biometrics and solutions to difficulties they encounter while registering. The results are visible as more students are encouraged to register or volunteer to join the team.
Mr Nonso, when interviewed, shared the challenges he faced and admitted that problems encountered were majorly from the students wanting the team to do everything for them and bring their PVC to their doorsteps. Another issue was managing schoolwork while running the programme.
According to him, he was motivated to mobilise youths to get registered alongside him because he was not able to register the last time.
Blossom, a beneficiary of the programme, expressed her gratitude to the organisers for making the work easier.
The team volunteer, Chisom, was very happy to partner with the organisation, saying it was ‘an experience to treasure.’
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