All in furtherance of our good governance and democracy program, on the 19th of January, 2019 we used the European Premier League game between Chelsea vs Arsenal to set up viewing centers in the six geopolitical zones of the federation in Abuja, Kaduna, Gombe, Cross River, Imo and Lagos states.
The aim of this initiative was to use football viewing centers as civic education hubs to deliver the voter education messages in rural and urban communities across the 6 geopolitical zones of the federation. “I am a Nigerian and I need good governance… so it is my privilege to vote the choice of the candidates I like!” a participant explains to our team member the reason why he decided to go and collect his Permanent Voter’s Card. Comments like this served as a reiteration of the type of messages that were passed on to the event goers during the intermissions of the game, in an effort to not just impart the importance of picking their PVC’s but also the need for Nigerians to exercise their right to vote.
The Chelsea Vs Arsenal games were chosen because both clubs have huge fan base across the country; guaranteeing increased participation in the viewing centers, and rightly so we were whelmed with delighting numbers. In Gombe, viewing center 1 had 570 participants, viewing center 2 had 210 and viewing center 3 had 113 participants. In Cross River, viewing center 1 had 161 and viewing center 2 had 207 participants. In Imo state, viewing center 1 had 300 participants and viewing center 2 had 126. In Kaduna, the viewing center had 180 participants while Abuja viewing center recorded 98 participants. In Lagos, the center recorded 241 participants.
This professes a total of 2093 people that participated in this nationwide viewing center event. The success rate of the event was massive, and in the Imo, Cross River and Gombe centers, the data collected showed that no fewer than 201 participants got their permanent voters card few days to the game just to be part of the program.
The atmosphere of the centers were also very lively and contagious. “I am very very excited to be here today!” Mr Chukwudi, an attendee at the viewing center located at Owerri proclaimed. Apart from the thrill of watching their favorite football teams playing, the activities and games provided set the right environment to disseminate information and foster a sense of togetherness at the same time. Of course, attendants were also excited to be in the race to win an original Chelsea or Arsenal customized jerseys!
For more reports on this event and its achievements please click here to read what various media outlets have to say!