The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, urged youths to get registered, collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and participate actively in the nation’s electoral process.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, Mr Emeka Ononamadu, gave the advice while addressing participants at a youth forum tagged, “#Youth Decide2019’’ held in Enugu.
Ononamadu said that youths should not sit at home and criticize leaders; when their impact in enshrining good governance can be achieved with their numerical strength.
The REC further enjoined youths to register with political parties and ensure that the right thing especially the principles of internal democracy and fairness was enshrined in their political party of choice.
According to him, “If the Nigeria youths must stand up and be counted while making a difference in our national polity; youths must stand up and unite to ensure that the right thing and right people are supported in political parties.
“You can even bring in bright ideas that will make your party of choice move forward and bring progress in the entire country electoral-wise.”
INEC, he said, would continue to hold regular inter-face and meetings with various stakeholders in order to prepare electoral process for a hitch-free 2019 General Elections.
In an address, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Ebere Amaraizu, advised youths to participate actively in societal and community endeavours by ensuring that they do positive things to promote the country.
Amaraizu, who is a Superintendent of Police, stated that youths should use their numeric strength to influence what political parties do and how political parties are run in order to enshrine quality and positive political representation.
He said: “The days of thuggery and other violent malpractices during elections are over. So you as a youth, you must add value to yourself for people to see your worth and believe in the ideology and passion you have and pursue. In other climes, youths are making positive difference and Nigerian youths must do the same.”
Earlier, the convener of “#Youth Decide 2019,” Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, said that the essence of the forum was to sensitize youths on the enormous power they have to decide what would happen in the political space come 2019 General Elections.
Okenwa said: “The forum seeks to bring youths of various backgrounds, learning and Schools together to have a voice and platform to shape the polity of the country for the better.
“It is also meant to teach them the need to participate and follow development in their environment and not to sit at the fence or have indifferent attitude.”
The forum, which next episode will hold in Port Harcourt in April, was attended by over 2,000 youths within and outside Enugu.