Few months to the Bayelsa Gubernatorial poll slated for November 11, 2023.The Fostering Achievement of Community Empowerment (FACE) Initiative and other youth-focused Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), are concerned about the participation of youth in the November 11 off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa state.
The group are worried that there are no signs whatsoever that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in Bayelsa state with only a short time left until the forthcoming governorship election in line with the letters and spirits of Section 9(6) of the 2022 Electoral Act that states that:
“The registration of voters, updating and revision of the Register of Voters under this section SHALL not stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by this Act”.
According to a statement signed by the Executive Director of FACE Initiative, Mr. Inatimi Odio in compliance with the electoral law it is only mandatory for INEC to continue to register new voters until August.
He noted that It is imperative to note that many young Bayelsa youth have turned 18 years old since the suspension of the CVR exercise in July 2022. Others could not complete their registration or register at all before the suspension of the last exercise. We call on INEC to immediately set machinery into motion to conduct the CVR process in Bayelsa state.
The Executive Director pointed out that if this is not done scores of young people will be disenfranchised as he reiterate that his organisation, FACE Initiative in partnership with other organizations in Bayelsa state are ready to assist in mobilizing Bayelsa youth to go out and register as the youth already constitute the majority of registered voters in Nigeria, they also constitute the highest number of citizens that are yet to register.
The group further reiterates their call for the Electoral Umpire INEC to unveil a robust strategy and blueprint that Bayelsa youth are able to register and have their voices heard during the November 11 off-cycle governorship elections.
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