- Title: NIGERIA: MTV encourages youth to vote
- Date: 4th April 2011
- Summary: NIGERIA'S '2FACE' PERFORMING ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 19th April 2011 11:32
- Location: Nigeria, Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA9857PU9MLA3VK63SOE2V709D5
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: MTV carried out a campaign on Friday (April 2) to get Nigeria's young population to come out and vote in upcoming elections.
The music channel used a concert -- just hours before parliamentary polls were scheduled to kick off -- featuring some of Africa's top musicians that drew hundreds of youth in the commercial capital, Lagos with a message to 'Choose or Lose'.
However, any momentum from the event was likely watered down with frustration as the parliamentary elections were postponed due to logistical chaos the next day.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed parliamentary and presidential elections by one week on Sunday (April 3) after failing to be prepared in time, a major embarrassment for a nation hoping to break with a history of chaotic polls.
Campaigners hope the delay will not keep voters away.
Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President MTV Networks Africa, speaking before the postponement, said the 'Choose or Lose' initiative was designed to inform and empower young voters on political issues.
"For us as MTV Africa one of the things that we do is beyond just entertaining young people is obviously engaging them with the issues that matter to them, provide them and opportunity to know that they have a voice," he said.
Nigeria's celebrities also attended the concert to add weight to the message that everyone should vote.
"I am glad to be part of the generation who is witnessing this so I think that people should go out there and vote because we have a part to play we can't have people who govern the country and we complain I wish this would happen, I wish this was better, this time it is up to us to make things change so if we do not participate we can not achieve the results we really desire, we must go out there and participate, vote wisely," said Yvonne Ekwere, a TV personality.
Many Nigerians have lost faith in elections and say that not much has changed since the end of military rule a decade ago because of poor leadership.
"I work with radio and I get a lot of phone calls, messages coming in on Facebook, coming in on Twitter, or our text machine, saying I am not going to bother to vote, I say do it, for those who registered well done, okay, and I hope a lot of people come out in the next few weekends and vote for people that they think would change lives for the better over the next fours year," said Olisa Adibua, a radio presenter and co-host of the MTV Base Choose or Lose concert.
Nigeria's J Martins, 2Face and Congo's Fally Ipupa thrilled music fans until the early hours of Saturday.
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