Don’t allow selfish politicians use you for violence, EU centre tells Edo youths

Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) has advised youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to perpetrate violence.

Speaking Saturday in Benin at a town hall on youths and non-violent participation in the election, the Senior Electoral Administration Expert of ECES, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya youth involvement in electoral violence and malpractices will not allow them to vote.

At the event which was organized by ECES in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yahaya said that the will of the people would be truncated during the election if the youth allowed themselves to be used by unscrupulous politicians.

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-defence but report to security agents for action.”

He lamented that “youths are 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 youth not to engage in vote-buying as well as helping politicians to buy votes because they are mortgaging their future.

Dr Isiaka noted that ECES is supporting INEC to deliver, free fair and credible election and that it is not concern who wins the election but that the process must be free and people are able to cast their votes freely.

On his part, INEC Representative, Mr Sunny Ezumah, Assitant Director, CSO INEC headquarters, Abuja, urged the youth not allow politicians to lure them to destruction during the election.

He said the initiative was to sensitised the youth 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 the 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 youth with their numbers.

 

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