By Yunus Yusuf
Ikeja, – An NGO, Emergent Labs, has launched ‘Vote023′ Campaign, a non-partisan, incentive-driven voice call campaign, to drive Nigerians’ consciousness of civic responsibility in 2023 general elections.
The Founder of the NGO, Mr Emeka Mba, who disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Friday, said that the initiative is meant to tackle the recurrent menace of voter apathy in Nigeria’s elections.
Mba said that Vote023 is aimed at influencing behaviour and driving action by providing compelling reasons to participate in the forthcoming election.
He added that the campaign is to show Nigerians that the future of the country lies primarily in their decision to become active contributors to the electoral process.
Mba said the initiative is supported by Angela Ochu-Baiye, a Social Entrepreneur, adding that the programme would be launched on Nov. 10.
The entrepreneur slammed Nigerians who do not participate in the electoral process, saying while most believe, rightly or wrongly, that results were predetermined and their votes do not count, others stay away because of personal safety and security reasons.
He said: “This is why we are launching Vote023 to correct this voter apathy by creatively sensitising Nigerians and giving them strong reasons to vote at the forthcoming 2023 elections.
“The objective is to deepen the citizens’ consciousness of their civic obligation and drive more engagement in the voting process.
“This is how it works. You visit vote023.org and you will see two options – you can call the number in one of the boxes and listen to our pre-recorded non-partisan message in your preferred language reminding you to vote in the upcoming 2023 elections.
“We would send you an SMS and credit you with N100 airtime instantly. If you input your number or anyone else’s, you or the person will get the same pre-recorded message and receive N100 airtime instantly.”
Also, Mr Ochu Baiye, a media consultant and a collaborator in the project, said that it was not enough to get Permanent Voter Card (PVCs) rather Nigerians must be involved in decision making processes.
Baiye said Vote023 campaign is designed to engender that very important action of actually voting, and they are doing this through strategically-placed messaging in different languages and incentivising it for more reception.
He said apart from these pre-recorded, non-partisan messages, it also created the theme song titled ‘The Call’, produced by the renowned Gospelondebeatz of SCRiiPO.
Baiye said the messages had been placed on multiple radio stations nationwide to complement other communication efforts and encourage massive voting during the 2023 elections.
“Our goal is to reach over 23 million Nigerians with 23 reasons to vote during the 2023 elections. Like we have stressed, this project is not affiliated to any political figure or party. Our emphasis is on principles and data, not parties or persons”.
In his remarks, Mr Gospel Obi, popularly known as Gospelondebeatz, expressed delight to be part of the project.
Obi said the 2023 elections is defining for Nigeria and when the duo of Angela and Emeka pitched the Vote023 initiative to me, “I bought into it immediately. We must get it right next year and that will not happen with widespread voter apathy.”
Obi said the theme song, produced by Gospelondebeatz, would be streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal, YouTube, Deezer and other platforms.
Mba and Ochu-Baiye further called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the self-funded campaign for sustainability and enhanced impact, adding that the initiative is essentially to protect Nigeria’s future.
Vote023 Campaign is supported by The Group 8 Limited stations- Urban96 Radio, Correct FM, Sound-city Radio, Access 24 – and a host of other media partners who have keyed into the vision of encouraging increased voting at the 2023 elections. (NAN)