By Edeki Igafe
Warri – The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has advised youths in the region not to allow themselves to be used as instrument of violence in the forthcoming general elections.
Mrs Ufonime Bassey, the Principle Manager, Directorate of Youths, Sports, Culture and Women Affairs of NDDC, gave the advice on Tuesday in Warri.
Bassey spoke on the sidelines of a workshop tagged: “Peace Building and Sensitisation Workshop” organised by the Shola Mese Foundation.
The manager advised youths to embrace peace and shun violence now that the general elections was around the corner.
“We do not want our youths to engage in violence, especially now that elections are around the corner, that is why we feel we should speak and advise them to embrace peace.
“Youths should not allow themselves to be used by anybody for any reason anywhere.
“For sometimes now, we have been preaching to them to shun violence, thuggery and embrace peace so that they can live a meaningful life,” she said.
In his remarks, Mr Shola Mese, the Convener and Founder of the foundation, said that the programme was targeted at youths between the aged bracket of 12 and 30 years.
According to Mese, youths are always at the forefronts of any restiveness, hence the need to preach to them to shun violence and embrace peace at all times.
“The purpose of this programme is to enlighten our youths to avoid violent activities and embrace peace in its entirety.
“We have successfully engaged over 600 students/trainees on various vocations in our vocational skill centre to take them out of restiveness and reduce crimes in the society,” he said.
One of the resource persons, Mrs Eugene Marcus, Founder, Fresh View Empowerment Initiative, said that we could still live together peacefully, irrespective of our social, political and religious beliefs, if we can set aside pride.
Marcus assured youths that they could be successful in life without indulging in negative activities.
Also, Miss Vivian Ozemiron, a physically challenged, while commending the organisers, said that the programme had renewed her hope to becoming successful in life despite her disposition.
“I have learnt that my limitation cannot limit me to becoming who God want me to become in life.
“I can be a millionaire, even while I am sitting on a Wheelchair,” she said.