By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – More than 500 youths on Tuesday walked round the streets of Kaduna to draw attention to the need for peaceful elections in the state.
The walk was organised by One Project Africa Reach Out Foundation under its `Vote Not Fight’ campaign.
Zigwai Ayuba, Executive Director of the foundation, who led the youths, said the aim was to let the people know that “election is not war” but a chance to elect leaders of their choice.
While at the State Police Command, the executive director expressed optimism that the police would do the needful in ensuring law and order during the elections.
She said election is a civic responsibility, as such no one should be disenfranchised in any way.
“We hope that there would be no electoral violence, we also hope that there would be no selling and buying of votes,” Ayuba added.
She also urged the police to apprehend and prosecute those who engage in hate speech and incitement, while calling on all stakeholders in the election process to work within the ambit of the law.
The executive director stressed that the police owe Nigerians a duty to monitor key political stakeholders and their followers to ensure that they do not derail the electoral process.
Ayuba canvassed for issue based campaigns and charged young people not to be hoodwinked by agents of violence and instability.
“Young people in Kaduna are now more enlightened compared to 2015 and they are now understanding that politicians are always ready to set them apart.
“In that regard, we are calling on young people from the 23 local government areas to take the messages down to the grassroots.
“By taking the message that means everyone is carried along, that means our efforts is already yielding results.
“We have had few cases of campaign violence so far. We are optimistic that going forward, we would achieve much more in Nigeria and Kaduna state.”
She urged the media to ensure that fake news is not allowed to circulate, and where it does, the mainstream media should be able to counter it by dishing out the right information.
The Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdur-Rahaman appreciated the group for their commitment towards ensuring peaceful Kaduna and peaceful elections.
He assured that the police would continue to partner genuine organisations in ensuring peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election.
The police commissioner, however, lamented that bad leadership had contributed to some of the vices in the country.
“The problems with us in Nigeria is not the citizen, it is the leadership, once the leadership decides to do the right thing for better Nigeria, then we are all going to get it right,” he stressed.
According to him, those aspiring to take the mantle of leadership of the country have been behaving immaturely like children.
“How could a politician be so naive as to send young children to destroy common posters of opponents and bill boards?”, he lamented, stressing that there is need for aspiring leaders to show exemplary conduct at all times.
The police commissioner said that the command would ensure level playing field for all politicians to sell their candidates within the confines of the law.
Abdur-Rahman, however, warned that the law would take its full course on anyone caught fomenting trouble during the elections, no matter how highly placed. (NAN)