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Youth’s active participation critical to electoral process – Boni Haruna

ABUJA (Federal Ministry of Youth Development Report) – On the framework of the statistics gained by youths in the nation’s demography, the Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna has declared that youths are critical to the success of the electoral process as the nation prepares for the next general elections in 2015.

Boni Haruna disclosed this recently when he received a delegation of the Goodluck Support Group (Vibrant Transformation Awareness Leadership Development Initiative (VITALDI) led by its Deputy National Coordinator, Stella Omu (Senator). The Minister opined that with the youth accounting for over 65 percent of the Nigerian population, they must be effectively mobilized to actively participate in the upcoming elections. He stated that there is no nation that would not give prominence to its youth population because of their linkage of the present with future development.

While commending the organization for focusing on youth mobilization as a strategy for attaining success in the coming year’s election, the Minister pledged to work assiduously with organizations dedicated to enhancing the leadership capacity as well as overall economic and political development of the nation’s youth. He promised to support the activities of the group, especially on the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

He emphasized the necessity for the group to join the campaign towards raising awareness about the need to establish necessary legislative mechanisms for ensuring that internally displaced persons are not deprived of their civic responsibility during the elections in 2015.

Haruna further observed that though the Electoral Law provides that only individuals who relocate from their primary constituencies are to apply to vote, it is imperative that opportunities should be offered to internally displaced people to register and vote in the coming year. He expressed optimism that the oversight in the relevant instrument would be addressed in good time before the next elections. ‘This, he said would defray from the constitutional crisis whereby the margin in the vote cast would be seriously lower than actual registered voters. While citing Adamawa as a case, the Minister noted that if the last Adamawa gubernatorial election was not annulled, there would have been a crisis scenario.

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The Minister called for prompt action on the part of the National Assembly and INEC towards evading such circumstances where voters are not able to vote, stating that it is their constitutional right.

In her remarks at the occasion, the leader of the delegation, Stella Omu (Senator) disclosed that the objective of the group is to mobilize the youth to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s endorsement in the 2015 Presidential Election. She also averred that the group is in addition to other programmes, planning to organize a security summit to enable stakeholders brainstorm on the current insecurity in the country as well as strategize on how to instil security and stability before the elections in 2015.  

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