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BBYDI partners with Christian Aid to address voter apathy in Nigeria
Nigeria, 7th June 2022: YVoteNaija hackathon is an ICT initiative set out to increase citizens interest and participation in electoral process.

Worried by the growing voter apathy that has characterized Nigeria’s general elections in recent years, a non governmental organisation, the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) with funding support from Christian Aid Nigeria is rolling out series of activities to increase citizens’ participation, especially women and youth in the electoral process. The uniqueness of this initiative is the leveraging on Information and Communications Technology
(ICT) to get more people on board.

The Executive Director of the organisation, Olasupo Abideen who made this known in a
statement issued on Tuesday, listed the activities to include virtual town-halls, fireside chats on radio and social media platforms and the YVoteNaija hackathon, which will hold in Kaduna State.

According to him, the YvoteNaija Hackathon in particular aims to identify and support the development of civic-tech ideas capable of enhancing citizen participation in the electoral
process.

“The hackathon will bring together young social innovators and developers between the ages of
18 and 35 years to develop ideas, build skills and connect with others working towards a shared goal of strengthening the electoral process and civic participation in governance in Nigeria.

“Consequently, successful ideas or solutions will be showcased upon the completion of the hackathon. The project team will also push for the adoption of some of the novel solutions at the National, State and Local Government level as well as civil society organizations,” he added.

Speaking further, the BBYDI boss noted that the declining interest of Nigerians particularly the youth in the electoral process had become a source of concern amongst relevant stakeholders, especially as Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general elections.

He explained that “despite the electrifying effect of the last general elections, it was discovered that less than half of the registered voters, 42.76%, officially voted. Since the dawn of democracy in 1999, there has been a consecutive decline in election turnout, 57% decline in 2007, 54% in 2011, and 44% in 2015. In the 2019 presidential election only 34.75% of
registered voters actually voted.

“More than this, elections in the country are often marred by violence and disruptions. From
2006 to 2015, about 4,000 lives have been lost during elections according to Premium Times Newspaper 2021.

“It is important to note that young people constitute more than half of the voting and actual population in Nigeria and the involvement of young people in political movements globally negates the current experience in Nigeria. Youth participation globally has been empirically established to improve and strengthen good governance. Their fresh insight and contemporary
knowledge of society, technology and cultures can bring effectiveness and efficiency to governance at the grassroots.

‘’It is against this background, that BBYDI and Christian Aid have lined up a series of activities aimed at leveraging technology to increase citizens’ participation, especially women and youths in the electoral process.

ENDS

For further media information, please contact Olasupo on abideenolasupo@gmail.com
or 07068775529

Notes to Editors:
1. About project:
Yvote Naija CivicTech Hackathon 2022 is organised by Brain Builder Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) with support from Christian Aid Nigeria to identify civic-tech solutions to enhance citizen participation in the electoral process in Nigeria. The hackathon will serve as an opportunity to will bring together young social innovators and developers between the ages of
15 and 35 years to develop ideas, build skills and connect with others working towards a shared goal of strengthening the electoral process and civic participation in governance in Nigeria. Consequently, successful ideas or solutions will be further developed and deployed ahead of and during the 2023 general elections at the National, State and Local Government level.

2. About BBYDI:
Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), was founded in 2014 as a youth initiative on the campus of Ilorin. We are a youth-led and driven organization that focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, youth mobilization, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community.

3. About Christian Aid:
Christian Aid is an International Non-Governmental Organisation which exists to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. We seek to eradicate extreme poverty by tackling its root causes. Together with people living in poverty, we amplify our voices to speak truth to power and create lasting change. Christian Aid has been working in Nigeria since 2003,
and currently works in the areas of Democracy and Good Governance, Health and Human Development, and Humanitarian, Sustainable Livelihoods and Resilience.
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