After 3 days of intense dialogue between Youth Civil Society groups, media, Political Parties, Ministry of Youth Development, International development partners plus several other youths from various African countries not excluding the 3 National Commissioners and Directors of The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) present during the National Youth Conference On Roadmap to 2015 Elections, organisers have identified key concerns of youths during the conference.
While it was greatly acknowledged that the electoral process has seen improvements, the participants at the conference believe that the electoral commission still faces challenges such as defective voters register, poor management of election day logistics and low voter education to count but a few.
Applauding INEC’s effort by releasing 2015 Elections timetable as indicative of INEC’s disposition to learn from past mistakes, the commission is yet to release an elaborate schedule detailing other pre-election activities such as commencement of the National Continuous Voters Registration(CVR) and distribution of Permanent Voters Card(PVC).
Participants during the conference suggested that the forthcoming Elections in Ekiti and Osun states gives INEC an opportunity to restore citizens confidence and trust if they can deliver a credible and violence free election.
Recommendations proposed on the last day are that INEC needs to be more transparent and proactive, INEC needs to partner with Youth organisations to create a voters education volunteer program that would each the grassroots, commencement of CVR and distribution of PVC and the need for the release of a pre-election timetable.
Also included was the need for the commission to ensure adequate security for youth corpers who will be volunteering during Elections and more efforts be made to prosecute people found guilty of electoral malpractice.
At the end of the program, most youths made a commitment to take the word back home and sensitize the youths at the grassroot level into embracing their civic responsibilities.
By: Remi Serrano