The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Lagos State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has urged youths to shun electoral violence and speak up against it.
Mr Agbaje, who was represented by Mr Adebisi Oladepo Ajayi, the Administrative Secretary of the State Chapter, said this during a courtesy visit by the Vote Not Fight (VNF) Lagos team and SiidAfrica Initiatives for Youth Development.
Mr Ajayi pointed out that youths have always been used as thugs, vote buyers, and instruments of violence against the opposition. He called on youth organizations like SiidAfrica to speak against these vices through different means, especially through social media.
He stressed that the stage of the election process that involves the voters is fast approaching, he therefore, encouraged voters to be mobilised to turn out to vote on the days of the elections.
Continuing, Mr Ajayi mentioned that while our democracy is still growing, considering that Nigeria is not up to a hundred or fifty years in democracy, “we can always make improvements and contribute to it alike, citing examples of countries like Botswana, Benin and Kenya that usually record encouraging turn out of voters during elections.
“One way to eliminate bad leaders from being elected is for youths to venture into contesting in elections. A graduate vying for an elective position if in power, cannot be compared to a person without any form of education at all.”
In addition, Mr Ajayi said that the Commission is presently ready for a free, fair, credible and inclusive election.
Mr Olamilekan Lawal, the Lagos State Coordinator of the VNF team and team lead of SiidAfrica shared that the VNF campaign is aimed at engaging electorates to shun violence and participate in the election peacefully and actively.
Lawal mentioned that “in attaining the objectives of the Vote Not Fight campaign, which includes advocating for youth participating during the elections, and promoting non-violent election process, it behoves the team to visit the commission, being the umpire of the election process.”