By Kayode Abdulazeez, Ilorin
As the 2019 general elections draw near, Nigerian youths have been warned against being used as agents of destruction before, during and after the election.
The Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Prof Abdulrasheed Na’Allah gave the warning while speaking at a one-day sensitization programme organized by Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Kwara State chapter.
Prof Na’Allah who was represented by the Director of Academic Planning, Prof Abdulrahuf Ambali warned youths against toying with their future by eschewing any act inimical to the progress and development of the country. He said “political party differences should be used as avenue for progress and development rather than unhealthy rivalry that has become the order of the day in Nigeria polity”
The State Chairman of AYCF, Comrade Ishaq Kazeem Elewure recalled that the impact of electoral violence in Nigeria especially in the Northern part of the country could not be ignored, hence AYCF organise this programme to avoid reoccurrence of the ugly incidence.
Comrade Ishaq Kazeem Elewure added that with the sensitization programme, a lot of youths would have gotten it right and have a rethink by desisting from being used as political thuggery and elements of destruction in forthcoming elections and subsequent ones.
In his remark, the AYCF National President, Comrade Yerima Shetima represented by the National Secretary General of AYCF, Alhaji Sulyman Tijani,described the sensitization programme and the choice of topic as timely and appropriate, stressing the need for all stakeholders to put Nigeria first in everything they do. Comrade Yerima charged youth to take up the challenges and occupy positions of responsibilities with utmost desire to contribute to nation building.
In his speech, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara state, Mallam Garba Attahiru Madami identified political system failure, inability of the state and its institutions to remain neutral and maintain law and order during elections, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, complicity and partisanship of security agents and vulnerability of youths being used as thugs as parts of the causes of electoral violence.
INEC commissioner advised youths to avoid being used by desperate politicians who are bent in truncating the forthcoming general elections and shun violence, thuggery and other social vices that are capable of destabilizing electoral process.
While soliciting for the support and cooperation of youths and other stakeholders, he assured INEC readiness to conduct free, fair and credible election that would be internationally applauded.
Also speaking, the state Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Olusegun Adeyemi advised politicians and aspiring political office holders, political parties and supporters to shun act of violence as well verbal and physical attacks.