Group takes campaign against electoral violence to flashpoints in Bayelsa

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From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

 

A group, Fostering Achievement of Community Empowerment (FACE) Initiative has taken the campaign against electoral violence to identified flashpoints in Bayelsa State.

 

The Executive Director of the group, Mr Inatimi Peter Odio in a press conference at the Ernest Ikoli,NUJ Press  Centre, Yenagoa, said the campaign tagged, ‘Vote Not Fight’ being an initiative of the National Democratic Institute( NDI) is to address issues violence, hate speeches, vote buying and other vices that have characterised the political and electoral processes since Nigeria returned to democracy.

According to him, the Vote Not Fight is a youth focused non-profit and non partisan campaign that seeks to increase the participation of youths and women in electoral processes thereby promoting peace and constructive engagements with their peers.

He disclosed that objectives of the campaign is to secure candidates and youth leaders commitment and compliance to non-violent campaigns and peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections through advocacy and community organising.

Furthermore he stated that through the campaign, the group aims to increase voter turnout among the youths during the election by adopting peer to peer youth awareness creation and sensitization.

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His words “The citizens particularly youth and women need to be awake to their responsibility of nation building through active participation in the electoral process. This group of citizens have remained at the fence for a long time because of voter apathy”

 

“All non-governmental organizations, community based and faith based organizations, traditional institutions, youths and women groups should deepen engagement with relevant government agencies in demanding professionalism in the conduct of the elections, and also intensify sensitization of their constituents on the need to embrace peaceful conduct.

 

“The BVAS is an innovative game changer in Nigeria’s political process, therefore youth are encouraged to go get their PVCs and go out en-masse to vote for the new Nigeria they desire, and avoid being used by politicians to perpetrate electoral violence.

 

Odio called on the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) to ensure it provides effective logistic arrangement for staff and mobility for voting materials to enhance election day coordination and prevent potential violence resulting from poor coordination.

 

 

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