NDDC, NGO caution youths on dangers of electoral violence
The Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has advised Rivers youths to shun electoral violence during Saturday’s and March 11 general elections.
Ogbuku gave the advice on Friday during a workshop on ‘Dangers of Electoral Violence’.
The workshop was organized by the Commission, in collaboration with Queen and Pet Koncept Initiative (QPKI), an NGO.
Ogbuku, represented by Mr Mathew Dango, his Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, urged the youth to reject any inducement by any politician or their agents to vote against their conscience.
Ogbuku noted that electoral violence would cause major setbacks, affect the progress of the nation, promote apathy and could also lead to death.
He urged the youth to go out and vote their conscience and maintain peaceful dispositions throughout the period and even after.
He said, “Go out there and cast your votes for candidates of your choice freely and peacefully.
“Follow your minds, avoid any act that can disrupt the process, cause violence and probably lead to suspension of the poll, say no to all forms of violence in the elections.”
Similarly, Dr Young Ayo-Tamuno, the State Director of the National Orientation Agency, assured of a peaceful election in the state.
Tamuno insisted on the need for everybody, particularly the youth, to make the electoral process free and peaceful by sticking to the rules on non-violence at any time in the elections.
He urged them to assist the Police and other security agencies on election duties in their areas by providing useful information that would promote peace for the conduct of elections.
“Elections will come and go and our society will remain; if you kill anybody or decide to kill yourself, society will continue,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Sodin Akiagba, the NGO’s spokesperson, said the group was concerned about the safety of the electorate.
He appealed to the youth to support the Police on election duties in their areas and reject vote buying.
Akiagba noted that the consequences of electoral violence were grave.
He also lauded the NDDC for its support of the success of the event.
Earlier, Mr Ephraim Effiong, the Director, of Youth, Sports, Women and Culture, expressed regrets that many youths had lost their lives during previous elections.
He said that trend should no longer be the case in the coming election.
Effiong, represented by Mrs. Anthonia Akpan, a Director in the Ministry, appealed to youths to ensure non-violent polls, vote according to their conscience, and avoid electoral vices.
He said, “Go out there, vote your conscience. I enjoin you to stand united against electoral violence.
“Stay away from destruction; say yes to peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria, beginning from Saturday, February 25.”