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Elections: IPAC urges youths to shun violence

THE Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Gombe Chapter, has advised youths against the use of violence to protect their votes during Feb. 16 and March 2, presidential and governorship elections respectively.

The IPAC state chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Garba, gave this advice in Gombe on Thursday.

According to him, the advice is a sequel to the several calls by politicians to their supporters to defend their votes during the presidential and governorship elections.

“Once you cast your vote, it is your right to stay within the stipulated metres to witness the sorting and counting before results are announced and pasted. But it must be done peacefully.

“Do not attempt to do the work of participating in sorting or collation as it is the primary duty of party agents to do that.

“If anyone is not satisfied with the outcome of electoral processes and results, do not use that as an avenue to cause mayhem or disrupt public peace as there are appropriate bodies to handle such cases.

“It is prohibited to go to voting points with any dangerous weapon or hard drugs.

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“The only legal item you are allow to hold is the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), which is your ticket for voting,’’ he said.

Garba decried the cases of violence that had always accompanied election in the country, adding that politicians must learn to use languages that would not be misinterpreted for negative actions.

He said IPAC and other stakeholders in Gombe State had done sensitisation in that regard to ensure that issues of vote protection was not misunderstood for violence.

The Gombe IPAC chairman also warned the youths against selling either their votes or PVCs, noting that the dividends of democracy would be a mirage if vote selling and buying were not addressed.

On cases of electoral malpractices by politicians, he said, “Step aside, if possible snap them and secretly gather your evidence and give it to your party agents to be used in court.

“No matter the magnitude of electoral malpractice or any incident that may occur, nothing should make anyone to resort to violence.

“Crime is a crime; if you go violent and you are caught, no excuse is acceptable in courts.’’

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