Role Of Youths And Journalists In Ensuring Smooth Electioneering Process

By Abdulrasheed Akere

In every nation with decorous polity, youths and journalists play a vital role in modelling means to elect or reelect representatives into the administration of government. Youths are agile and vibrant young people at an early stage of existence, growth, or development, while journalists are professional people who keep journals, report events, incidents to inform the general public of things happening around them and they also aid to hold people accountable, especially the political leaders so as to have a peaceful society. Using a west Africa country like Nigeria as a case study, youths and journalists are mutually exclusive as myriad Nigeria journalist are youths.

Similarly, in antecedent election in Nigeria corp members are often used as INEC agent that monitor election, all the coppers fall under youth age category. So, for them to be just in the task given to them is pivotal role to ensure smooth electioneering process. Even, scad of security squads that do secure the polling unit are youths. It is once reported that Nigeria’s population structure is potentially an economic asset. The country has the largest population of youth in the world, with a median age of 18.1 years. About 70% of the population are under 30, and 42% are under the age of 15. Currently, over 33.6 million (16.8 percent) Nigerians are regarded as youths (aged between 15 and 35). The Nigeria system of government (democracy) offers the opportunity for Nigerians, who possess Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to elect their representatives.

Recently, ahead of the 2023 general election youths and journalists have worked hand in hand to ensured people registered for voters card with Independence National Electoral Commission, or INEC by creating awareness on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram among others; mass media like television, radio and newspaper. Especially, journalists working in the newsroom made sure news about PVC were publisized almost every day in order to create required enormous awareness of it among Nigerians. As a matter of fact, some media organization inaugurated the exceptional programme dubbed ‘Get Your PVC’ which also persuade individuals to registered for PVC before it closed.

In addition, the efforts yielded a positive outcome as INEC revealed that Nigerian youths led the demographic for completed new voter card registration at 6,081,456, out of a total of 10,487,972. what youths and journalists could also endeavor to enhance free and fair election is to fight against spreading of fake news about any contenders, and also ensure that no party’s flag bearer go away with a false claim. Late last year, Ceredem Africa called on volunteers particularly youths to corroborated in resisting breaching of false claims and news by the Nigeria politicians.

Another major role is that journalists should broadcast the tectonic of voting and curate a means to expatiate the sequel of political apathy.

Historically, youths’ name had been a rubric in Nigerian journals as the primal arsenal used by unpatriotic politicians to rig election. To preclude the act of hooliganism, thuggery in electoral process every citizens, specifically youths in the discourse should be educate on its demerit by journalists through press release, online, offline and in printed papers like magazine. There should be squeal announcement to the general public that a foiby can obviate them from having a careen future. Youths and journalists should endeavor canvass people to vote, monitor the ballot box, ensure free and fair election, avoid hooliganism and shouldn’t leave their votes aloof at the polling unit. Knowledge on power of democracy that everyone has right to vote and aptitude to elect their choice of leader should also be propagated among the masses.

Moreso, as a maxim implies that ‘journalism is the act of being accoutable and holding people to be accountable’ in the sense that any information pertaining the election should be spread online as the election is going on, this will hibernate intents of any deceitful politicians. Because, they will develop phobia on their image to be tarnish if caught with any illicit and illegimate trait during the election. Youths and journalists adhered to this methodology in the 2022 Osun state’s gubernatorial election by which youths and journalists kept updating people online on how voting is going on in each polling unit across all the local government areas of the state. The procedure made the election to be transparent to the extent that people speculated the winner even before the result was announced.

Therefore, if youths and journalists can emulate this cardinal recipe in electioneering process, it will catalyze a free and fair election. If all rights are duly observed, electioneering process will be suave and galvanizing.

Abdulrasheed Akere is a sophomore student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), he can be reached via abdulrasheedabdulkareem01@gmail.com.

(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)