Ahead of the governorship election in Edo State, south-south Nigeria, Connected Advocacy for Employment and Youth Development Initiative (Connected Advocacy) has urged youths in the state to shun electoral violence.
Connected Advocacy made the call at a three-day community organising and voter education training for the ‘Vote Not Fight’ strategy committee members and other stakeholders in the state.
The training was aimed at effectively training participants on the electoral process and the key role they will play before, during and after the election.
With the scare of violence, misinformation and attacks threatening the forthcoming governorship election, as warned by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, it has become imperative for key stakeholders to enhance voter education and sensitisation ahead of the election.
Executive Director at Connected Advocacy, Prince Israel Orekha, said that poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment have significantly contributed to the involvement of youths in electoral violence, as such; the government must step up its youth development efforts.
On his part, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), Johnson Alalibo, who thanked Connected Advocacy for organising the event, appealed to the participants, specifically youths, to shun electoral violence and cooperate with other stakeholders to ensure a peaceful and successful election.
He said, ‘My appeal is to the youths; they are the ones that are most vulnerable to electoral violence. We have to talk to them, that if we want to have free and fair elections, we have to shun violence.’
The Edo State Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ayo Faniyan, who represented the Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokomo, assured participants that the force will cooperate with every stakeholder to ensure a peaceful election. He said, ‘The police are ready and committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure free election and I thank the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for identifying youths as focal point in this election’.
In his remark, the Senior Programme Manager of NDI, Bem Aga, urged youths to ‘shun violence and embrace peace during the elections’.