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.
Mr Emeka Ononamadu, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu state, gave the advice while speaking at a youth forum tagged: “YouthDecide2019’’ held in Enugu.
Ononamadu said that youths should not sit at home and criticise leaders; when their impact in enshrining good governance, can be achieved with their numerical strength.
He also advised 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.
“If the Nigerian 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,’’ he said.
The REC said that INEC would continue to hold regular inter-face and meetings with various stakeholders to prepare electoral process for a hitch-free general elections in 2019.
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 peace in the country.
Amaraizu noted that youths should use their numeric strength to influence what political parties do and how political parties are managed to enthrone quality and positive political representation.
“The days of thuggery and other violent malpractices during elections is over.
“So, youths must add value to themselves for people to see their worth and believe in their ideology and passion.
“In other climes, youths are making positive difference and Nigerian youths must do the same,’’ he said.
The PPRO also said that the state police command would continue to partner youth-based organisations to re-orientate their minds for productive ventures.
“We also want youths to assist the police in fighting crime through using our social media platforms and addresses to give the police confidential information about crime and criminals in the society,’’ he said.
Earlier, the convener of YouthDecide2019, 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 elections.
“The forum seeks to bring youths of various backgrounds, learning and schools together, to have a voice and platform to shape the country’s polity 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 it does not concern me attitude,’’ Okenwa said.
The forum, which next meeting will hold in Port Harcourt in April, was attended by over 2,000 youths from within and outside Enugu. (NAN)