• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Electoral violence, malpractices blamed for youth underdevelopment, bad governance

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The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) on Saturday said youths involvement in political violence and electoral malpractices are the causes of youths underdevelopment and bad governance in the country.

Isiaka Yahaya, electoral administration expert, ECES, made the point during a town hall on ‘Youths and Non-Violent Participation in the 2020 Edo Governorship Election’ in Benin City.

Yahays noted that violence-free elections guarantee good governance in any democratic setting.

He appealed to youths not to allow themselves to be used for violence and malpractices during the governorship election by selfish politicians, noting that they are always the victims of any electoral malpractices.

“Youths involvement in political violence and malpractices will affect the youths. First, it means they will not be able to cast their votes. Secondly, they will not be able to elect somebody who will respond to their aspirations.

“So, it is a minus for the youths if they help to manipulate elections not to be free, fair and credible.

“Youths are the victims of election violence because they are the ones being used. They are the ones that will be maimed, killed and whose property will also be destroyed and who will also be arrested by the security agencies.

“So it is also bad for the overall mental, physical, social, spiritual and educational development of the youths,” he said.

Yahaya said the town hall on youth and non-violent participation in the governorship election was an initiative geared towards sensitising the youths on the need to take part in the electoral process to guarantee their future.

While noting that the centre was committed to strengthening democratic process in Nigeria through the implementation of the EU-SDGN programme, he added that it is a non-profitable organisation which delivers electoral assistance to Nigeria and other African countries.

He urged the youths to ensure that their opinion is reflected in the leadership of the state through their votes come September 19 instead of allowing themselves to be used as agents of anti-democracy.

In his remarks, Sunny Ezumah, assistant director, CSO INEC headquarters, Abuja, urged the youths to always put the interest of the state above the ambition of any politician.

Ezuwah also cautioned the youths to say no to politicians that would want to lure them to self-destruction during the election.

Also speaking, Cynthia Mbamalu, the programme director of Yiaga Africa, called on the people of the state to come out en masse to vote, adding that election can only be rigged when there is voter apathy.

She appealed to the youths to take advantage of the governorship election to elect the best candidate that would ensure youth development in the state.