The International Friends for Peace Initiatives, an non-governmental organisation (NGO), has urged Nigerian youths to shun violence and thuggery for a successful 2023 general election.
The NGO founder, Mr Victor Emaikwu, who made the appeal in Gombe on Friday, said that youths needed to contribute to bringing dividends of democracy to citizens.
Emaikwu said that the call became imperative because youths suffered more from bad governance due to violence, ballot snatching, vote-buying and other undemocratic activities.
He described violence and thuggery as enemies of democracy and development, adding that youths would not gain anything engaging in the acts in whatever interests.
”Violence, thuggery and drug abuse have no place in electoral processes, hence the need for the youths of Gombe state and Nigeria to reject such acts and make decisions that will benefit the society,” he said.
Emaikwu called on the youths to use their numerical strength to influence positively the outcome of the 2023 general election by registering to get their Permanent Voter Cards to vote the right candidates.
“Statistics by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s in the 2019 elections shows that 42,938,458 out of the 84,004,084 registered voters were youths; this can make a difference positively.
“The youths will play critical role in 2023; this is why it is important for them to support democratic process and exert their collective energy to make right decisions for the state and country,” he said.
“There is all to gain when youths stay away from violence because Nigeria is the only country that is ours and they cannot afford to ravage it because of momentary gains.
“For youths to stay off violence is to deliberately preserve their lives from harm because there is too much risk being involved in election violence, vote buying and others as these are various offences,” he said.
He, however, said that the damages caused as a result of violence before, during and after elections are far more devastating compared to the “little gains’’ that youths who engage in it benefit.
Emaikwu advised the youths to elect credible leaders that would be responsible, accountable and bear in mind the countless plight of Nigerians and work for the interest of all stakeholders.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma