Former President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said over 18 million Nigerian youths are yet to register in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC said over five million Nigerians have so far registered since the exercise started last year, majority of them youths.
The Commission had not conducted any registration exercise since 2018, which means that majority of prospective registrants are people from 18 years old.
Saraki, who spoke in an event in Abuja organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged the youths to take the opportunity of the voter registration exercise and get registered.
“I want to appeal to Nigerian youths that the Electoral Act we have now gives you a better chance for your wish to happen; for what you deserve, the kind of people want elected,” he stated.
The former Kwara State governor, who expressed the belief that the 2022 Electoral Act would ensure that elections are credible, free and transparent, regretted that a lot of Nigerians, particularly the youths have given up hope and have lost interest because they do not believe in the electoral process.
“So it is time now for you based on this electorate to now go and register and give voters. Take time to study the Act and you will see that with that Act, truly now, we can have free and fair elections.
“Let me seize this opportunity to thank a lot of the young men and women, CSOs that never gave up in the last one year in making sure that this Act happens.
“This is a great opportunity for us to truly redefine our democracy. And my fear is that all that work will go to waste if people do not go out and register. This is the time for us to go out and register and elect the kind of leaders that we want,” he stated.
Saraki also supported the provision in the Electoral Act that political appointees who want to contest elections should resign their appointment before doing so.