FOR fear of violence in the July 2012 Edo State governorship elections, Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, yesterday said the scheme might not deploy corps members to serve as electoral officers unless there is a guarantee from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the safety of the youth.
The development came as politicians in the state were urged to eschew all acts of violence during and after the polls.
Brig.-Gen. Okore-Affia said if INEC failed to give the assurance, the national headquarters of the NYSC would seek a waiver from the electoral body to opt out of the elections.
The campaigns by the major parties have been dominated by violence and accusations of planned mayhem.
The NYSC boss told journalists at a leadership forum in Abuja that though the scheme’s mandate expects that it deploy corps members in all the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, they would only be deployed in areas where they would have security cover in order to guarantee their safety at all times.
The director general, who also spoke on the deployment of the corps members in crisis-prone areas of the country, said “since the mandate of the NYSC is that we post the corps members to every state of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, good or bad, we now deploy a smaller number of corps members in crisis-prone states.”
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Security and Water Surveillance, Henry Binidodogha, who spoke
in Benin City, expressed displeasure over alleged moves by some politicians to hijack the process at all cost without recourse to the wish of the people. He urged the people of Edo to step up measures to defend their votes.
According to him, “the July election will be decided by Edo people and no politician or godfather will decide their future as it is being rumored in some quarters that Edo election will be decided in Abuja.”
The riverine communities will be fully secured to ensure that it is not used to manipulate antics of rigging the state election.
He called on Ijaw residents in the state and along the coastal areas to ensure they come out during the election and cast their votes while assuring them of a peaceful, free and fair polls.