Nigeria’s famous pop singer, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as ‘2baba’, has urged youths in Anambra to be agents of peace and shun violence during the November 6 governorship election in the state.
Idibia made the call on Thursday in Awka at the ongoing “Vote Not Fight” campaign organised by the Catch Them Young Community Initiative, in collaboration with the 2Face Idibia Foundation.
The campaign is supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Idibia said: “We are here to dialogue with Anambra youths and campaign for peace, especially, as we prepare for election.
“Our youths are critical stakeholders. This is why politicians use them to cause violence. I want to tell you that violence has no gain but destroys lives and property.
“As youths, we need to promote peace. Because without peace, the election cannot be free, fair and credible, and development cannot take place.
“Let us be aware that election is not war but a time for us to participate by voting wisely for the candidate that can help secure our future,” he said.
Idibia urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to discharge their duties without any form of bias.
He also urged the electorate to cooperate with the security agencies to ensure a violence-free election.
Also speaking, Ben Aga, programme director, NDI, said the institute would always support programmes and campaigns that would ensure the effectiveness of democratic process in the country.
Mr Aga said the NDI recognised the youth as assets and future of the country as well as key stakeholders in achieving a peaceful election in the state.
Contributing, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Echeng Echeng, said the police were committed to ensuring the safety and security of residents before, during and after the election.
Mr Echeng, represented by Emma Ogbuanya, an assistant commissioner of police, said they were collaborating with other security agencies, CSOs, community and traditional leaders in the area of intelligence gathering.
While appealing to the youths to embrace peace, he also urged the electorate to come out and vote on election date without fear of attacks or harassment.
In his remarks, Nonso Orakwe, the executive director, Catch Them Young Community Initiative, said the role of youths in election-related violence had been particularly dynamic, as they had been perpetrators and victims at the same time.
“Due to eroding societal values and poverty, youths are easy recruits for attacks and violence during elections. With this campaign, we want to change the narratives and become ambassadors of peace in our nation,” Mr Orakwe said.
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