A non-governmental organization, the Pacesetter has on Wednesday held a training session for Youth leaders across political divides, in preparation for the October 10 Governorship election in Ondo state.
The advocacy meeting against electoral violence and manipulations held in Akure had Youth leaders from major political parties in the state in attendance.
The advocacy, tagged ‘VOTE NOT FIGHT’ has been on for weeks as various groups across the state have been met and trained to be ambassadors of peace before, during and after the governorship election.At the training were representatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security And Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department Of State Security (DSS) and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
Mr. Jonathan Obatola, who spoke to journalists on behalf of the organization at symposium stressed the need for such meeting as the youths, over the years have been the major instrument of violence in the hands of politicians.He said: “It is pivotal we educate our youths on the need to embrace peace and allow every citizen of the state vote without hindrance in the coming election.
We want to change the narrative and be in charge of our future.”“We have read out the provisions of the Nigeria constitution on electoral violence to all participants and we are convinced that they are ready for the change in approach.” He added.Speaking on behalf of the Security operatives, the representative of the Nigeria Police Force said: “This program is organized to mobilize all political party youths against violence during election.
We, as security operatives are educated to restrict violence. We advise our youths to make sure they are not used by politicians by going to the field to steal ballot boxes or use dangerous arms.”The youth leaders thereafter, agreed and signed to a peace chatter designed at the meeting to ensure absolute peace before, during and after the governorship elections in Ondo state.