Nigeria: Youths Reject Supplementary Election In Imo Constituency

By Anolu Vincent

Hundreds of youths on Sunday rejected the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election in Ikeduru state constituency of Imo State on Saturday.

At a press conference, the chairman of Ikeduru Youth Assembly, Samuel Nwokeocha, said that election in the state constituency had been won and lost.

Flanked by other youth leaders, Nwokeocha said that INEC should be held responsible should “our people be killed during the supplementary election.”

He argued that with 15,419 votes for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Uche Ogbuagu, and the person in second position in the election with 3,633 votes, conducting supplementary election was a violation of the Electoral Act.

Nwokeocha flayed the electoral umpire for retuning the PDP candidate only to turn back to fix a supplementary election.

The youth leader said, “We condemn in its entirety the do or die posture of some political godfathers in Ikeduru, who have realized just too late that people of Ikeduru have jettisoned them and their evil ways and resolved to chart a new beginning for our people.”

“INEC must be prepared to take full responsibility should anything untoward happen to our people should it insist on a supplementary election in Ikeduru state constituency.”

He called on the state commissioner of police to arrest those who perpetrated mayhem on the day the election.

Nwokeocha said that the youth were angry that the suspects arrested at the collation centre for allegedly trying to use explosive devices to bomb the collation center had been released.

Source Independent

AU Urged Nigerian Youths To participate More In Politics

A section of the media during a news conference by European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) on initial assessment of the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections, in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

By Oludare Richards

African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) has urged political parties and young people to leverage on the Not Too Young To Run (NTYTR) Act to increase youths’ political participation and representation.

It commended parties for involving youths in the electoral process and fielding some as candidates, which demonstrated impressive level of youth mobilisation for political participation.

The mission noted that the 1999 Constitution guarantees equal participation of citizens in the electoral process, while hailing the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to increase the participation of youths, women and Persons With Disability (PWD) in the electoral process.

In particular, the observers noted that youth and women recorded appreciable number in voter registration when compared to 2015.

However, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), in its preliminary declaration and assessment, has identified electoral violence, vote-buying and other electoral malpractices as challenges in the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections.

CDD, which deployed over 3,500 field observers across the country, also established a fake news tracking and analysis centre, and an Election Analysis Centre (EAC), comprising experts on elections and democracy.

It said though the elections went on smoothly in most parts of the country, significant logistics challenges marred the conduct of the elections in many parts of the country.

For example, “ballot papers were insufficient in some polling units, while in others there were lack of other sensitive and non-sensitive materials, such as indelible ink, ballots, or result sheets,” CDD observed.

According to the centre, most of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) worked well and therefore played a role in ensuring the integrity of the elections.

In addition, it noted that the secrecy of the ballot was violated, and voters cast their ballot in full public view in some polling units, where polling booths were not cordoned off or cubicles provided to ensure secrecy of the vote.

“In some places, people were requested to put their names down and phone numbers, so that they can be paid later. However, most disturbing is the situation where party agents go around with voters’ register, pressurise voters and negotiate for votes.

“We also observed voters willingly selling their votes to the highest bidder. The telephone was a valuable tool utilised in the vote-buying and selling transactions,” the centre observed.

Other electoral malpractices reported by CDD observers include harassment of voters by thugs, arrest of observers by security agents, snatching of ballot boxes and stuffing of ballot papers.

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Nigeria: Youth Involvement in Ballot Boxes Snatching Must be Avoided – Lawal

Mr Lawal Gurama/Political Analyst & All Africa Youths Platform (AAYP) Member

By Azugbene Solomon

Mr Lawal Gurama, the political analyst and member of All Africa Youths Platform (AAYP), condemned the involvement of youth in ballot boxes snatching in some voting polling units centers in Saturday’s 23rd March 2019.

He said this while he was online interview with AAYP Media Twitter Handle @aayp_media.

What is your opinion about the youth snatching ballot boxes for bad politicians?

“Actually, youth involvement in ballot boxes snatching must be avoided for our democratic system not to go astray.

Youth helping some nonchalant politicians to archive self political goal against any nation interest will hold that nation hostage not to progress.”

Is it right for any youth to be killed for stealing ballot boxes?

” Nothing is wrong in killing ballot boxes snatches against a state, which is enough to kill any nation’s growth.”

What is your advice or warning for any youth working for bad politicians?

“Youths should create a job or fined something doing than helping undermining their fruitful future and destroying their greater tomorrow in carrying out services for fraudulent mischievous politicians.” Lawal said.

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