European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), has advised youths in Edo state not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to perpetrate violence during the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.
ECES’s Senior Electoral Administration Expert, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, made the call on Saturday in Benin at a town hall on youths and non-Violent participation in the Edo governorship election organised in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said, ” Youths should not allow selfish politicians to use you to perpetrate violence, when you see what may lead to violence, do not resort to self defense but report to security agents for action,”.
According to him, involvement in electoral violence and malpractices will not allow the youths to vote and the will of the people would be truncated during the election.
He stated that the ‘youths were always the victims of election violence because they are the one that would be injured, killed and also arrested by the police,’
He further urged the youths not to engage in vote-buying as well helping politicians to buy votes because they would be mortgaging their future.
Dr. Isiaka noted that ECES is supporting INEC to deliver, free fair and credible election saying that it was not concerned who wins the election but that the process must be free and people were able to cast their votes freely.
On his part, INEC Representative, Mr. Sunny Ezumah, Assitant Director, CSO INEC headquarters, Abuja, urged the youth not to allow politicians to lure them to destruction during the election.He said the initiative was to sensitised the youths on the need to be actively involved in the electoral process in the state and not violence.
Also speaking, Cynthia Mbamalu, the programme director of Yiaga Africa charged electorate to come out en masse to vote as an election can only be rigged when there is voters apathy.
She noted that the power to have a better country, free and fair election lies in the hands of the youths with their numbers but that they always collect money and vote against their conscience.
The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday called on the youths in Edo to resist being used for election violence in the September 19 governorship election in the state.
Mr Isiaka Yahaya, the Electoral Administration Expert, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) made the call during a town hall on Youths and Non-Violent Participation in the 2020 Edo governorship election programme in Benin.
Yahaya said the initiative was to sensitise the youths on the need to take part in the electoral process to guarantee their future.
“We are saying that the youths of Edo should not allow themselves to be used as thugs by politicians for their political gains.
“they should not mortgage their future by allowing politicians to use them as agents for vote-buying.
“If you take statistics of past election violence, you discover that the youths themselves are mostly the victims,” he said.
Yahaya urged the youths to ensure that their opinion is reflected in the leadership of the state through their votes come September 19.
According to him, ECES is a non-profitable organisation which delivers electoral assistance to Nigeria and other African countries.
He noted that the centre was committed to strengthening the democratic process in Nigeria through the implementation of the EU-SDGN programme.
The Representative of INEC at the event, Mr Sunny Ezumah, Assitant Director, CSO INEC headquarters, Abuja urged the youths to always put the interest of the state above the ambition of any politician.
He said “it is time for the youths to say no to politicians who will want to lure them to destruction during the election.
According to him, the commission is committed to ensuring that youths were sensitised on the need to be actively involved in the electoral process in the state.
Also speaking, Cynthia Mbamalu, the programme director of Yiaga Africa called on the people of Edo to come out en masse to vote adding that, the election can only be rigged when there is voters apathy.
Mr Emmanuel Ikubese, the INEC Youth Ambassador (IYA) who also spoke at the event called on the youths to take advantage of the governorship election to elect the best candidate that would ensure youth development in the state.