• Monday, March 04, 2024
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2023: Kogi CSO urges politicians to take deliberate, decisive steps to curb electoral violence

Managing elections in Nigeria

Lugard Youth Development and Empowerment Initiative (LYDEI), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) based in Kogi State has called on the political parties in the country to take deliberate and decisive steps toward curbing electoral violence in the 2023 general election.

The Executive Director of LYDEI, Okwtepa Aminu made the call on Tuesday in Lokoja at a Panel Discussion organised for youth leaders selected from the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State, pointing out that political parties should organise programmes and activities that would sensitise the youth and all electorate against violence.

The meeting was organised to commemorate the 2022 International Youth Day, with the theme ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World For All Ages, Setting Agenda for Youth and Women Political Parties.’

He called on political parties to be proactive ahead of the 2023 general election which he said was imperative as the nation’s electoral system has been bedeviled by malpractices and violence.

“I advise political parties and youth leaders to organise programmes and activities for young people in their political parties to stop hate speech and fake news on social media. Your campaigns should be issue-based on what you can offer to Nigerians, your capacity to deliver democracy dividends and good governance,” he advised.

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Aminu cautioned against vote buying and selling by Nigerians and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put all necessary measures in place for the conduct of credible, free and fair elections and ensure the votes count.
According to him, there was serious need for synergy to blend youth creativity and technological innovation in the 21st century with the experience of older generation to strengthen peace and stability of the nation’s democracy.

“We also call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to address the lingering ASUU Strike,” he said.

The state Commissioner for Health, Zakari Usman described the International Youth Day as very important and significant to the Nigerian youth as issue of injustice, unemployment and vices are brought to the front burner.

Represented by Emmanuel Itodo, the Commissioner charged Nigerian youths to embrace politics and urged them to shun social vices, electoral violence and be creative in order to have a brighter future devoid of crises.

Mohammed Abdullahi, Kogi State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), emphasised on the need for women and youths to come out and vie for elective positions.

Represented by a Deputy Director in the Directorate, Patrick Edogbanya said it has become imperative for youths and women to participate at all levels of decision-making to enhance effectiveness in implementation.

He commended women and youths for their participation in the last voter registration exercise and attributed the large turnout to sensitisation and mobilisation programmes by NOA at all levels.

Abdullahi said that the Agency has already commenced training and retraining of staff at all levels towards sensitising and mobilising the general public to participate in the next general election, as he appealed to the youth and all Nigerians to approach issues with patriotism, diplomacy, respect for elders and their opinions and that they should continue to eschew violence.