The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday called on the youths in Edo to resist being used for election violence in the state.
Mr Isiaka Yahaya, the electoral administration expert, ECES made the call during a town hall meeting on “Youths and Non-Violent Participation” in the 2020 Edo Governorship election programme in Benin.
Yahaya said the initiative was to sensitise the youth on the need to take part in the electoral process to guarantee their future.
“We are saying that the youths of Edo should not allow themselves to be used as thugs by politicians for their personal political gains.
“If you take statistics of past election violence, you discover that the youths themselves are mostly the victims,” he said.
Yahaya urged the youths to ensure that their opinion reflected in the leadership of the state through their votes come Sept. 19.
According to him, ECES is a non profitable organisation, which delivers electoral assistance to Nigeria and other African countries.
He noted that the centre was committed to strengthening democratic process in Nigeria through the implementation of the EU-SDGN programme.
“It is time for the youths to say no to politicians who will want to lure them to violence during the election,” he said.
Ezumah said the commission was committed to ensuring that youths were sensitised to be actively involved in the electoral process in the state.
Also speaking, Cynthia Mbamalu, the programme director of Yiaga Africa called on the people of Edo to come out enmasse to vote, adding that election could only be rigged when there was voters’ apathy.
Mr Emmanuel Ikubese, the INEC Youth Ambassador (IYA), who also spoke at the event, called on the youths to take advantage of the governorship election to elect the best candidate that would ensure youth development in the state.