By LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Stakeholders in the electoral process have expressed concern over politicians’ engagement of young people in violence.
Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Garba Madami, who spoke at a one-day symposium organized by students of mass communication at the University of Kwara State (KWASU Top-up), has urged young people to avoid being used for political violence in next year’s general election.
The REC, which was represented by Deputy Director of Voter Education, Dr. Adesina Tayo, at the symposium titled: Youth and the 2023 General Election: Your Concern, My Concern,” advised young people to channel their energy for the betterment of Nigeria and their future. .
He however noted that the arbitrator is concerned about how to conduct a credible and generally acceptable election, saying plans are in high gear to ensure the election is acceptable in both the domestic and international communities. .
“It is common knowledge that young people are often used as thugs to commit acts of violence before, during and after elections. It’s everyone’s business,” he added.
State Police Public Relations Officer SP Ajayi Okasanmi revealed that a Police Youth Relations Committee had been formed to sensitize young people and let them know that the election is about their future and Nigeria as a country.
He tasked young people to prepare and play the role expected of them as agents of change rather than being used as political thugs.
State Director of the National Guidance Agency (NOA), Olusegun Adeyemi, advised the youths to start mobilizing and sensitizing people for the development of society.
He urged them to avoid violence and to unite to work for the development of the electoral process.
In his goodwill message, the President of the Union of Nigeria Journalists (NUJ), Lanre Hammed, expressed concern over the low turnout of young people in the elections, saying that the number of voters in the elections of ‘Ekiti and d’Osun was not commendable compared to the number of permanent voter cards (PVC) collected.
The Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, KWASU, Dr. Isiaka Aliagan and the Head of the Department, Mass Communication, Dr. Semiu Bello congratulated the organizers of the symposium, saying the program was timely. .
The participants were drawn from the three senatorial districts of Kwara State to be sensitized on their roles in the 2023 general elections.