The Director General, Committee on Youths Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS) with the Representative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other CYMS members
By Ibironke Ariyo
The Committee on Youths Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS) says it has commenced training on tracking vote buying in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure free and fair elections.
The Director General, CYMS, Mr Obinna Nwaka, said this at the 2023 pre-election conference and capacity building for observers on Thursday, in Abuja.
Nwaka said CYMS’s policing volunteers were also working in synergy with security agencies on enforcement in the field, which he said would be followed with an official report to the EFCC for prosecution of individuals or candidates involved in vote buying.
He said CYMS was ready to track any one who engaged in vote buying as the group knew how to get them, saying such would not be tolerated in the forthcoming elections.
He reaffirmed CYMS’s support for the EFCC in the fight against corruption, and that youths were also joining force with the commission to say no to vote-buying to avoid trading the future of the Youth.
He added that 93,469,008 registered voters were ready to cast their votes in the forthcoming elections, adding that Lagos had the highest total registered voters of 7,060,195 and Ekiti with the lowest figure of 987,667.
“Looking at the demographic, age group and occupational registered voters of total 93, 469,008, the youth between ages (18-34) is 39.65 per cent with 37,060,399, while the ages between 35-49 is 35.75 per cent with 33,413,591.
“Comparing to the present status quo of youths gives us the total number 70,473,990, which is equivalent to 75.40 per cent votes of young people from the entire registered number of voters,” he said.
The CYMS DG commended the young people for their involvement in voters’ awareness programme, resilience in participation and PVC registration.
He urged them to use the same energy to cast their votes in the forthcoming election,.
He said it was obvious young people would no longer be taken for granted, especially in democratic engagement as youths had become the true heroes of democracy.
He said the collective strength of youths made them the determinants of elections, and also the instrument of carrying out unpatriotic and undemocratic activities by the politicians, especially vote buying, violence and thuggery.
“We have been charged and are determined to be used only as the instrument of positive socio-economic development of our nation.
“In this regard, we are saying no to vote-buying to avoid international embarrassment, especially now the international community and foreign observers are on stand by watching.
“We commend the presidential candidates for signing the peace accord; we wish to state categorically that we align ourselves with it.
“We call for integration of vote-buying into next process with the participation of EFCC to assist in reawakening the consciousness of office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria since vote-buying forms major reason for bad governance,” he said.
Nwaka commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and political parties for their preparedness ahead of the election, while being optimistic that the elections shall take place as scheduled.
Speaking, representative of the EFCC, in charge of Public Relations, Mrs Aisha Mohammed, said the commission had been engaging in enlightenment programme on no to vote-buying.
Mohammed said vote-buying was an economic crime adding that awareness started with the youth who were the future of the nation.
“We have released phone lines to all the 36 states including Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to monitor.
“We are already out collaborating with all CSOs. I am happy our collaboration with CYMS is yielding positive results.
“We are calling on the people to vote conscience and vote right. Do the right thing and say no to vote-buying and selling,” she said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko