…condemns sponsored political violence, verbal attacks
…wants stringent punishment of perpetrators
By Gabriel Ewepu
WITH gradual escalation of politically motivated violence compounding the precarious insecurity that had engulfed the country, Niger Delta youth under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Congress, NDYC, Monday, expressed deep concern over the rising tension ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking on the development, the National Coordinator, NDYC, Comrade Israel Uwejeyan, said Niger Delta youth are not happy with the pace of violence currently recorded across the country and would resist any attempt to truncate the general elections.
Uwejeyan said: “The Niger Delta Youth Congress, NDYC, is deeply concerned about the rising political tensions in the nation as we approach the general elections.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and loss of life that has occurred in various parts of this Nation in the last 30 days. We cannot go on like this!
“We call on all security agencies to go the extra mile to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice because it is very crucial that those responsible for these atrocities are held accountable.
“We urge all politicians to refrain from actions that could lead to violence and destabilization of our nation.
“As youth of the Niger Delta and Nigeria, we understand the importance of peaceful and fair elections.
“We believe that all citizens, regardless of their political affiliations, should have the right to participate in the democratic process without fear of intimidation or harm.”
However, he called on relevant authorities to deal seriously with sponsors and perpetrators of political motivated violence, and also called on the diplomatic community to place visa ban on such unscrupulous elements who sponsor violence.
He also said the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to place intensify efforts to stop every movement, hoarding and use of narcotics before and during the election.
He warned: “We call on all politicians to refrain from making inflammatory statements or taking actions that could incite violence. We also urge you to respect the rule of law and the rights of other opponents, as well as the rights of citizens who may not support your candidacy.
“Let us not heat up the polity again because election is not war rather should imbibe the spirit of a sportsman and not to be murderers and destroyers.
“It behooves on political parties and their candidates including supporters to ensure that their responsibility is to achieve peaceful and hitch-free elections instead to allow yourselves to be used of the devil to kill one another. So let us work together to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.
“We also urges all politicians to refrain from playing politics of insults and instead focus on presenting clear policy documents and plans that can turn the economic tide of the Nation around for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, he stated that, “As young people, we are not interested in hearing derogatory remarks or personal attacks from politicians.
“We want to see concrete plans and proposals for how our leaders intend to address the pressing economic issues facing our country.
“We want to see policies that will create jobs, stimulate growth, and improve the standard of living for all citizens. We want to see plans that will tackle issues such as youth unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
“We also want to see a clear focus on developing the Niger Delta region, which has been neglected for far too long by corrupt leaders. We want to see plans for the development of critical infrastructure, such as roads, power and water supply, as well as investment in education and healthcare.
“We implore all politicians to stop playing politics of insults, instead, they should focus on proffering solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of the people, particularly the youths. We have had enough of empty promises, it is time for action.
“This is not the time for politicians to start dragging each other and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court as we approach the general elections, because such actions are not only a distraction from the issues on ground but also undermines the smooth conduct of the elections.”
On adequate security cover before, during and after the elections, he said the youth in Niger Delta Youth Congress are solidly supporting the recent statement of the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Major General Lucky Irabo, asking the military to remain apolitical and disciplined to deal decisively with anybody who wants to disrupt or manipulate the electoral process.
“We also want to state that we strongly support the statement made by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) calling on all security agencies to remain neutral during the conduct of the forthcoming general election.
“We believe that the neutrality of security agencies is essential for the credibility of the electoral process and for the protection of the rights of citizens.
“We urge all security agencies to refrain from taking actions that could be perceived as partisan or that could compromise the integrity of the vote.
“We also call on the security agencies to work closely with INEC and other electoral bodies to ensure that the electoral process is transparent and that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote without fear of intimidation or harm.”
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