REC charges youths, women to form political party for relevance

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami has advised youths and women to form a political party to have political relevance.
Attahiru-Madami gave the advice on Friday when he received officials of a group, Conscientious Youth Empowerment Foundation that paid him a visit in his office.
He said that from all available statistics, women and youth constituted over 80 per cent of voters in any election in the country.
“According to statistics and records of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), which I have double checked, 80 per cent of registered voters are youths and women.
“What they need to do is to come together and form a political party which will now provide a platform for both men and women to contest election.
“That will remove the issue of marginalization, lack of money to contest and cannot compete with old politicians,” the REC said.
According to him, for any aspirant to seek for any political position, he or she must belong to a political party.
He was of the view that if the youth of this country were waiting for the existing political parties to give them the platform, they would be wasting their time because that will never happen.
“The old politicians will never quit and give you the opportunity, so you have to grab the opportunity.
“You have to get the opportunity and the only way to do that is to revolutionalise politics in the country and that is by teeming up with the women to form a political party,” the REC added.
Attahiru-Madami added that elections in Nigeria were becoming more transparent, adding that rigging was becoming impossible.
This, he said was because results of election were declared right from the polling units to collation centres.
“The results are already at the polling units, everybody has seen it from the polling unit, to ward collation centres, to local governments, state and national.
“There will be no chance for any manipulation of election results, so the youths have a good chance of ruling this country, of running the government of Nigeria in the future if they come together with the women form a strong political party.
“That will change the atmosphere, it will change the politics of this country,” the REC added.
He also advised the youths of Nigeria to shun double registration during the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), adding that double registration is a criminal offence.
Attahiru-Madami admonished the youths to run away from hard drugs as taking and abusing drugs may make them lose focus on their study and career prospects.
Earlier, in his address, Abiodun Oyeyiola, Executive Director, Conscientious Youths said they were in INEC to appreciate the good work the REC was doing in Kwara.
Oyeyiola said the group has erected four billboards in strategic locations in Ilorin to sensitise youths in the state on the need to register as voters.
He told the REC that members of the group have been going round registration areas in Ilorin to monitor the level of participation of youths in the exercise.
Oyeyiola appealed to political parties to give the youths a chance in the affairs of the country, adding that as future leaders of Nigeria, youths were not given enough opportunity to express themselves.
“Youths have the highest population in Nigeria with over 60 per cent of the population; we are a key stakeholder in voting.
“Despite this, youths don’t come out to participate in elections.
“We discovered that majority of the youths have not registered as voters, so we use our laptops to register them online.
“We also educate youths on their rights through our weekly radio program on Royal FM 95.1,” Oyeyiola added.
He said the group has decided to give INEC a slot of the weekly programme to support the registration exercise.
Oyeyiola later presented a framed certificate of merit to the REC.
Members of the group at the visit were Kehinde Akinsola, Abosede Ajiboye and Dapo Olumide.

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