Enugu Council Polls: YIAGA Africa holds Town Hall Meeting with participating parties

Posted by News Express | 7 February 2022 | 452 times

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By CHARLES IWUOHA

The YIAGA Africa, a non-profit NGO focused on youths participation in politics, has lauded various political parties in Enugu State for creating the political space and support for young aspirants.

The Programme Manager of YIAGA Africa, Mr Ibrahim Faruk, gave the commendation on Monday during a Town Hall Meeting with political parties participating in the forthcoming Feb. 23 Local Government Elections in Enugu State.

According to Faruk, YIAGA Africa appreciates the leadership of political parties for expressing their commitment to support young people as well as women with their structure, financial and material resources in the forthcoming council election in the state.

“We are happy to notice during the town hall meeting a healthy appetite and concessions for young men and women to participate in the forthcoming local government election in Enugu, regardless of challenges, from the political parties,” he said.

He said that YIAGA Africa wants to create awareness around the local government election, adding: “Most times, when it comes to local government elections, there seems to be a kind of apathy hence the need for these sensitisation meetings”.

Faruk also said that the meeting had created a platform for young candidates and women to engage stakeholders in the electoral process both political party leadership and the electoral umpire for the forthcoming election.

Earlier during the meeting, some leaders of political parties alleged that some members of Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), the state’s electoral umpire, are card carrying members of the state ruling party - Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They were of the view that they are ready to support and fully back youths and women in the party but were getting frustrated with the knowledge of the election not being free and fair.

The state’s Chairman of Providence Peoples Congress (PPC), Mr Newman Chukwuegbo, said that the development had demoralised the electorate and those with intention to contest for chairmanship and councillor positions.

“That is why there is low participation because people are saying why should we go and spend our money when we do not have chances of winning,” Chukwuegbo said.

Speaking, the state’s Chairman of Green Party of Nigeria, Dr Afam Ani, alleged that initially, ENSIEC wanted to frustrate people by demanding charges and tax clearance but were stopped when they were reminded of an existing court judgment jettisoning such demands.

In the same vein, State Chairman of Action Alliance, Mr Festus Ogbonna, said his party fielded candidates in eight local governments, adding the party faithful were afraid the election would be conducted in a credible, free and fair manner.

YIAGA Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement.

It would be recalled that YIAGA championed the passage of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Law.

Since the passage of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law, Nigeria has made steady progress in mainstreaming youth participation in politics and governance.

YIAGA Africa intends to once again, through the Run To Win Project, amplify the influx of competent youths into politics as their participation is critical to democratic governance.


Source: News Express

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