2023 Election: Shun Violence, Cyber Bullying – Group Tells Nigeria Youths

As Nigerians prepare ahead of the general elections starting February this year, President of Civil Society Group, Love World Next, Derick Izekor has urged Youths not to be misled into violence or cyber bullying by electoral candidates and to get involved in national transformation the right way.

Derick also noted that towards ensuring we get a better leader in 2023, youths must be fully involved and should carry out their civic responsibility to voting in the right leader as a matter of patriotism.

He said this at the Launch of the Strategic Political Responses In National Transformation Project, SPRINT, which held at Abuja on Thursday.

He said “In recent times we have seen, read and heard about the responses of young people towards change in their nation. We believe in Love World Next that youths are major stakeholders in national transformation. We want youth to be involved in national transformation the right way.

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“We have seen and heard about the way they have gone about it which has led to violence. In some places you have loss of lives and property, social challenges and all that but through Project Sprint, we are saying that there are better responses that young people can imbibe to transform their Nation.”

On how youths can get fully involved in the 2023 election, Izekor said, “In National transformation, there are different approches definitely but one of the most basic and important approach we should have to nation building is choosing those that lead us and the next general elections affords us that opportunity to choose who leads the country.

“Choosing the right person to leads us, takes us several steps ahead in developing the country, because as a right leader, your work after the election is in getting government to keep to his or her promise, act rightly and to enact policies that are beneficial to the populace and ensure forward movement of the country. So we have to choose the right leaders at this point in time.

“The forthcoming election begins February 25th in Nigeria. Nigeria is somewhat on a threshold. It is either we go up or we go down at this time. So this election is very important for everyone of us in Nigeria. What we are doing in the Launch of project Sprint is that we are also trying to gavernise young people across the country to ensure they pick up their permanent voters cards.

“What we are saying to every young person across the nation is that they should not only talk about the Ills in the nation but they should go out there and pick up their permanent voters card because Nigeria is at its crossroad, it is either we go up or we go down. The decisions we make in the February elections will determine all this things. We want a better Nation, we want a better country, we want better leadership”.

In his remarks, Assistant Director, Youth Unit, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr Samuel Bassey, urged youths to awaken their electoral consciousness and participate in a way that can impact inclusivity in Nigeria’s democracy.

Samuel who was represented by the Principal Admin, Youth Unit, INEC, Mameh Andrew said, “It is regrettable that some of our youths are involved in election violence. It is quite worrisome that youth are often used by unscrupulous elements in the society who see them as willing tools to be manipulated to advance their selfish agenda during electioneering.

“This class of people prey on the innocence and the vulnerability of the youth during a period like this to perpetrate violence and disrupt election processes.

He continued, “Election violence comes with a great socio-economic and political cost to the nation and to the lives and future of youths. The youths who are often used as tools, are the immediate victims of violence during elections; majority of the people being maimed, killed or sent to jail, and those whose future is undermined during violence are the youths.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission, on its part is fully committed to electoral inclusion, especially the purposeful and enlightened participation of the young people in the electoral process to galvanize the required action that will promote enduring democratic values and culture in the country.

Stressing on the involvement of youth in a Peaceful election, Nigerian Youth Parliament Speaker, Azeezat Yishawu said, ”The manner at which we express ourselves should be drawn towards a peaceful election. What is important is that youth must engage in peaceful election, our voices as enlightened youths, need to be bigger and louder than those who are involved in social media bullying and insult during the election.

Project coordinator, Chris Iyamawe called on youths to get fully involved in the electoral process and ensure that they are agents of change in National Transformation.