Group urges Ondo youths to resist cash-for-votes

Peter Dada, Akure

A non-governmental organisation, the European Centre for Electoral Support, has urged youth in Ondo State to eschew violence, resist the temptation of selling their votes and vote right, in the state governorship election scheduled to hold on October 10, 2020.

The group made the call at a programme tagged, ‘Awareness creation for young female voters,’ in Akure on Friday.

The programme was organised by ECES in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission while participants were drawn from various youth groups in the state.

Addressing participants at the gathering, the Senior Electoral Adviser Expert for ECES, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, advised the youths against any act that negates the principles of democracy, urging them to be actively involved in the process.

Yahaya specifically warned them against engaging in vote buying or selling, just as he advised them against all forms of electoral malpractice.

He said, “The youths must transform the elections into a celebration of choices rather than being a drama. Young people must reject all forms of violence and refuse to be a tool of manipulation.

“The youth must refuse acts like vote buying or selling and base the choice on the content of manifestos of political parties rather than on any pecuniary gain.”

In his remarks, the ECES Senior Project Officer, Mr Sylvester Somo, stressed the need for the Nigerian youth to participate in the electoral process for a virile and vibrant democracy.

He explained that since youths constitute a significant number of the total population, and many of them are first time voters, there is a need for them to be “properly guided before, during and after voting.”

Declaring the programme open, the Deputy Director, Gender, INEC, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu said, “As a demonstration of its commitment and abiding faith in young women as a target group, the INEC has made it a tradition to always engage with the young, both male and female, especially during election.”