Ex-Ebonyi SSG cautions youths, politicians against violence

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Prof. Benard Odoh
Prof. Benard Odoh

By Douglas Okoro

Abakaliki – A former Secretary to Ebonyi State Government (SSG), Prof. Benard Odoh, has advised politicians and other stakeholders not to throw the state into anarchy.

The former SSG gave the advice at a media briefing in Abakaliki on Wednesday.

He appealed to Ebonyi youths to eschew violence during Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Odoh, while reacting to the wave of pre-election violent attacks that spread across some communities in the state, said that such development was capable of throwing Ebonyi into a state of anarchy.

“The attacks, killing and destruction of buildings and other property of fellow citizens of Ebonyi ostensibly to settle political scores are quite unacceptable and uncalled for because we are just one people with a common destiny.

“Violence in any form or degree should be condemned and I am joining the rest of well-meaning citizens of the state to condemn the attacks, killing and destruction of property in the state.

“We, as politicians should strive to make the coming elections peaceful, credible, free and fair, caution our supporters and followers against indulging in acts of violence,’’ he said.

Odoh, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that the continuous peaceful co-existence of Nigerians was more important.

The former SSG, who urged the police and other security agencies to fish out perpetrators of the violent attacks against innocent citizens, said that Nigeria’s peaceful co-existence was more important than the victory of any political party.

Odoh, a former lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, explained that peaceful election was an antidote to bad governance and called on Ebonyi people, especially the youth to eschew all forms of anti-democratic conduct.

He said that he recently addressed youths and elders of his Ezza nation at a stakeholders’ meeting on the need to shun any form of violence before, during and after the elections.

The former SSG said his aim was to encourage his people to conduct themselves peacefully, go out and massively vote for candidates of their choice.

“The best thing that can happen in this election is that we have peaceful and orderly elections.

“We don’t need to lose anyone because of these elections since it is about voting in capable candidates that can deliver on their campaign promises.

“It doesn’t require violence and I believe that if we have a free and fair process, anyone who will have lost will gladly congratulate the winner while the winner will also be magnanimous in victory,’’ he said.

Odoh, however, urged his supporters to vote for all candidates of APC in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections and in the March 9 Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections in the state.

The pre-election violence attack erupted in Ebonyi on Friday and Saturday Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, leading to destruction of more than 30 buildings in Izzi Local Government Area and other communities.

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