CSO Sensitize Youths Against Electoral Violence and Malpractice Ahead of 2019 Poll

Ahead of the 2019 poll, Social Action, a Port Harcourt based civil society organization had deemed it necessary to sensitize youths cut a...

Ahead of the 2019 poll, Social Action, a Port Harcourt based civil society organization had deemed it necessary to sensitize youths cut across Rivers State against electoral violence and malpractices.

DON.NG senior correspondent, Lorine Emenike was with the CSO as a media officer to cover the event. This was a report;

Able gentlemen and ladies from Social Action, as part of their numerous activities to curb corruption across South-South, most especially in Rivers State, were in Ngo in Andoni local government area of Rivers State to educate and sensitize Andoni youths on the implications of electoral violence and malpractices and its adverse effects on societal growth/ development.

Speaking to one of the participants at the event, in Ngo/ Andoni, the head quarters of Andoni local government, Mr. Prince Awajoda, who expressed profound gratitude to the organizers of the sensitization said, " as long as the electorate sensitization program will continue, the ratio of election malpractices and violence will be reduced to a bearest minimum. He said, the sensitization program for electorates, will have to be carried out from time to time and not a one day business, that the program should be carried out in every nook and corners of the state, it should be a continuous process, even before, during and after elections.


Mr. Prince Awojoda, used the medium to encourage the organizers of the program to also publish, the sensitization message on gazettes for electorates perusal. He also requested that the organizers of the program encourage participants with finance, to aid them for transportation to venues of the program. 

He appreciated the efforts of the program organizers, also urged them to endeavor in reaching every look and cranny using every necessary medium.

Mr. Awojoda said, before now, electorates had been involved in election processes ignorantly, which has resulted to zero access to quality education in the nation, despite the millions that is been voted into the education system, lack of adequate security in the country, poverty and election malpractices. He promised, after the sensitization, 2019 election will not be business as usual.



One of the facilitators of the sensitization program, Mr. Green Isaac, Field Project staff for Social Action, said the program is to build Rivers State youths capacity in order for them to shun election violence and malpractices, to mitigate issues that will come up in the 2019 general election. He said it is the civil society organization task to do so, as non state actors.

Mr. Isaac said, that their expectations from the youths after the sensitization is huge. They (social action) expect 2019 general election to be free of violence and very fare compared to previous elections conducted in the country especially Rivers State.

On his part, Mr. Sebastian Kpalap, one of the facilitators and the coordinator of Citizens Voice Initiative, a non governmental organization stated that, "overtime, issues of electoral violence is grossly undermined and that the countries electoral system is fueled by corruption".

Further more, he said;  "For us to be able to mitigate electoral violence, we have to remove those inducement that fuel it from the system, and those who are more at risk or rather prone to receiving these proceeds of corruption and carry out the act of Violence's are young people.

This sensitization exercise is to educate the youths in Andoni in order to negate the increase in the proceeds of corruption, especially in election malpractices and violence, is an ill wind that doesn't blow any good. The acceptance of bribe by electorates to subvert electoral processes had largely resulted today to underdevelopment, frustration and there is that dare need to change that narrative or acts"

Mr. Kpalap said, by the end of the sensitization exercise he expect participants to refuse to carry out acts of electoral violence, and also for the youths of Andoni to refuse to be involved or get engaged in acts of corruption in the forth coming 2019 general election.

Continuing, Mr. Kpalap indulged the youths of Andoni local government area to carry out their own sacred responsibility of ensuring that only the right candidates are voted into office and that nobody is prevented from casting their votes by way of threat, that nobody is killed because another person does not want to see the person at the election ground.

On his part, Mr. Prince Ekpere the lead project and budget analyst of Social Action, said in conjunction with a sister CSO, the sensitization exercise for youths in Rivers State against electoral violence and malpractices is deemed necessary because of the past records of election processes in the state.

Mr. Ekpere said the exercise was designed to give youths of Rivers State some level of capacity, to ensure that the 2019 election becomes peaceful and to also ensure that the youths do not make themselves available for politicians to use them.

Continuing, Mr. Ekpere said, "our youths are our future leaders, they should act and live in that manner. And it is only when they act and live in that manner that we will know that this program has impacted so much on them".

He said judging from the past records of violence in election processes in Andoni, although Andoni is a small town but have lots of political big wigs.
So, there is the need for them to play politics without bitterness. Let candidates contest, whoever wins, let him win without being influencing the process.

Mr. Ekpere said his organization wishes to go round the 23 local government areas in the state to sensitize the youths, but due to time constraints. He promised his organization will continue the sensitization exercise in various radio stations in Port Harcourt in order to reach divers audience in the state, and in all of the various dialects( Ikwerre, kalabari, Ogoni, Igbani, Ogba, ete) in the state. He said that, that's the strategy the organization has implore to ensure everybody hear the message of non violence in electoral processes.

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