Port Harcourt – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said it would not accept any election that did not meet electoral guidelines.
National Commissioner, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Mr Adedeji Soyebi, stated this at a voter sensitisation organized by the commission in collaboration with the European Union (EU), Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement and other agencies, at the University of Port Harcourt.
He said that INEC would continue to ensure that elections were determined by votes as it would not tolerate unwholesome acts in the conduct of elections.
Soyebi said that so far the commission had registered no fewer than 33 million people, with youths occupying over 60 per cent on the record breakdown.
He said that the sensitisation, targeted at encouraging more youth participation across the six geo-political zones, had so far covered Lagos, Kano, Rivers and Federal Capital Territory.
“The youths form a very significant figure as regards election, not only are they top by numerical strength but by participation and diligence. We, therefore, urge them to shun electoral violence.
“In the forthcoming 2019 general elections, an estimated 650,000 -700,000 youths drawn from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), tertiary institutions and other youth bodies would be directly engaged by INEC,” he said.
In a contribution, Mr Sobari Loveday, President, Student Union Government (SUG) of the university, thanked INEC and its partners for choosing the institution as contact point to other institutions in the region.
On behalf of students and volunteers he promised to engage positively in the electoral process.
Sobari also urged students who were yet to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to take advantage of INEC’s one week presence on the university campus to collect their PVCs.
In his remarks, EU Ambassador, Mr Ketil Karlson, charged the youths to shun electoral violence, vote-selling and other vices that threatened the electoral process.
He condemned the high level violence recorded in the suspended Aug. 17 bye-election in Rivers, and urged the youths not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt elections.
“We don’t want the type of violence recorded in the suspended bye-election to repeat in the 2019 general elections.
“The EU shall ensure robust partnership with INEC, security operatives, the media and other organizations to achieve free, fair and credible elections,” he said. (NAN)