UNDP says it has noticed a dearth of youth participation in the nation’s electoral process.
The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, is engaging youth leaders from the Southwest of Nigeria in a five-day training exercise in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The exercise, which commenced on Monday, was designed to ground the participants in the art of civic and voter education.
In his opening remark, Mourtada Deme, Project Director of the agency’s Democratic Governance for Development, DGD, unit, said the training will be based on the Australia-based Building Resources In Democracy and Elections (BRIDGE) modules.
“The Democratic Governance for Development Project affirms that Democratic governance requires the establishment of democratic institutions and procedures of democracy which, among other things, brings about respect to the principles of the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government; the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law; respect for human rights, effective people’s participation, as well as transparent and accountable processes and institutions,” he said in a remark delivered on his behalf by Mufuliat Fijabi, DGD expert.
Partnering with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the exercise, the body said it has noticed consistent low participation of youth in the electoral cycles of the nation in the last ten years.
“Some of the indicators for these include absence of youth in party hierarchical structure, as contestants and as voters. Unfortunately also they were associated with the violence after the announcement of elections results,” he said.
Mr. Deme also said the ongoing training is the second phase of the exercise and that it was meant for the youth stakeholders in the Southwestern part of the country as that of the North had been held in Abuja last week.
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