February 21, 2023

Polls: Be wary of greedy politicians, GPFN warns youths

Revitalizing leadership decay in Nigeria


By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

GLOBAL Peace Foundation Nigeria, GPFN, has warned youths to be wary of greedy and rapacious politicians lurking around to hire them as political thugs to foment trouble during the forthcoming general election.

The organisation gave the warning, on Monday, at an advocacy event organised in Abuja, to sensitise the youths against electoral violence.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Phillip Hayab, a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, urged the youths to be mindful of what the future holds for them.

He said, “The survival of Nigeria’s democracy is mainly dependent on the action of the youths.

“If the youths allow themselves to be exploited to perpetrate electoral violence, Nigeria’s democracy could be threatened.”

Hayab noted that all past elections characterized by one form of violence or another other often result in the loss of lives and properties.

He, therefore, charged the youths to desist from clannish politics which fuels hate speech and violence before, during and after elections.

According to him, “As it stands, we cannot excuse the youth from perpetrating electoral violence as most of the active population that cause havoc before, during and after elections are youths.

“Nevertheless, the key role of the youth is to safeguard that the 2023 general election is violent-free because electoral violence usually derives its vitality from the mass of young people in society.

“To that end, the youth must take their rightful place as critical stakeholders who should be legitimate voters who can make their voices heard.

“Therefore, I call on the youths and sundry to come out en mass to vote for the candidates of their choice, irrespective of their religious, regional, and ethnic backgrounds.

“The youths need to reject the temptation of greedy and selfish politicians to deceive them to cause any form of violence.”

He also urged the security agencies to be fully ready to curtail the excesses of overzealous individuals vulnerable to being hired to carry out electoral violence.