By CrossRiverWatch admin
Generational Voices (GenVoices) is partnering with British Council and Enough is Enough (EiE) to deliver a Citizens’ Debate on the upcoming elections in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. This will be facilitated through GenVoices’ conversational platform called Gentalks.
This builds on the extensive work that GenVoices and its partners have done in the area of youth engagement, and will leverage on much of the experience garnered in promoting an active, informed and intelligent young voting population.
The event which will hold tomorrow Friday the 20th of March at the 520 Kolanut Conference Centre on Barracks Road in Calabar by 1pm will feature a moderated debate between youth representatives of the political parties taking part in the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.
The youth citizens’ debate, which targets young audiences aged 18-35, is designed for supporters of the presidential and governorship candidates in Nigeria’s general elections to articulate and present their rationale for deciding what candidate to support.
Calabar was chosen as a location for this event given the supportive political atmosphere and the presence of an active youth population. In this light, credible youth based and youth led local organisations such as the Afterschool Peer Mentoring Project, BallotNotBullet, and Global Shapers Calabar are playing an active role in planning, mobilizing, and executing the event.
On the reason why they chose to actively partner in executing the debate, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed of British council stated that “the British Council believes that young people are Nigeria’s most important asset and the most viable route to sustainable development will be based on increased participation and engagement by young people in governance at all levels.”
Executive Director of EiE, Ms Yemi Adamolekun said, “We’re glad to be back in Calabar where we hosted a Governorship Debate in 2012. Debates are the key activities under the ‘S’ component of our #RSVP Campaign as we believe the culture of debates is an integral part of a democratic system.”
The Genvoices team lead, Reginald Bassey, also explained that much of the focus of the political process is on highfalutin rhetoric that the average young citizen rarely connects to.
In his view, this debate will spin the wheel to focus on the critical aspect of the governance process; the people, particularly the young voting block which makes up the majority of Nigerian voters.
This event also promotes the need for youth voter education and engagement to increase awareness about the process, and encourage the use of analysis and facts in choosing elected officials.
The event will feature a pre/post-debate poll, a live audience debate, live streaming and an informative session about the electoral process.
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