In Edo, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the National Democratic Institute, NDI, a non-governmental organisation, have urged state youth to shun thuggery and abuse during the state’s governorship election on September 19, 2020.
Edo State Resident Electoral Commission, REC, Dr Johnson Alalibo, while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting, yesterday, said INEC is ready to work with all stakeholders and added that the commission was committed to ensure free and fair election.
The event with the theme: “Securing the 2020 Governorship Election in Edo State: Role Of Stakeholders Consensus, Commitment and Collective Action” was to raise consciousness among Edo youth during state elections to avoid conflict.
Alalibo said INEC had written to all political parties on the type 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.”
Representative of the Commissioner of Police, ACP Ayo Faniyan, assured the NGO that the police will partner with them and all stakeholders to ensure free, fair and credible elections in Edo State.
Faniyan said the Police was ready and committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure free election and thank the NDI for identifying the youth as a focal point in this election. He buttressed 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 Programme, Israel Orekha, said that since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, youth have been at the forefront of election-related violence in Edo State and other parts of Nigeria.
He said the root causes of youth involvement in electoral violence include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, under employment and drug abuse.
Senior Programme Manager, NDI, Ben Aga, called on Edo youths to shun violence and embrace peace during the elections.