…The Police promise to be strategic in dealing with violent activities and urge Edo youths to be peaceful
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called on Edo youth to stay away from violent activities as the Governorship Election in the state approaches.
Edo State Resident Electoral Commission, (REC) Dr. Johnson Alalibo, advised the Edo youth while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting, on Wednesday as the Commission prepares to ensure free and fair election on September 19, 2020.
At the event with the theme: “Securing the 2020 Governorship Election in Edo State: Role Of Stakeholders Consensus, Commitment and Collective Action,” Dr. Alalibo affirmed that it was organized to brief Edo youth to avoid thuggery and all forms of electoral malpractices during elections in the state.
He also said INEC had communicated to all political parties on the kind of language and words they should use during the campaigns and jingles in various media organizations.
He said: “I want to thank the NGO for organizing this programme at this time. My appeal is that, the youths are the ones that are more 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.”
At the event which was co-organised by a non-governmental organisation, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Senior Programme Manager of the Institute, Ben Aga, added that Edo youths embrace peace during and after the elections irrespective of the results.
Moreover, in the meeting, the representative of the Commissioner of Police, ACP Ayo Faniyan, promised the NGO that the police will synergise with them and all stakeholders to safeguard free, fair and credible elections in Edo State.
Faniyan declared that the Police was prepared and dedicated to work with all participants to ensure free election, while he thanked the NDI for recognizing the youth as a principal target in this election. He supported that as far as security is concerned, all hands must be on deck to conducting free election in Edo State.
The Executive Director of Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative, Israel Orekha, said youths have been at the focus of election-related violence in Edo State and other parts of Nigeria since the country advent of democracy in 1999.
He said the background causes of youth participation in electoral violence include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, under employment and drug abuse, which the government at all levels should critically address.