From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the ‘Vote Not Fight’ campaign has been launched in Kaduna State with training held for selected coordinators across the 23 local government areas to spread the message.
The project is organized by the One Project Afrika (OPA), 2Baba foundation, National Democratic Institute (NDI) USAID and UKAID.
In a well come address, the Executive Director, OPA, Zigwai Ayuba said there is need to change the narrative about the state positively, adding that the launch and training is basically to sensitive the selected coordinators who are youths on why they should not allow themselves to be used to perpetrate violence as we go into the elections.
“The youths must shun all forms of violence and politicians must shun all forms of hate speeches that will over heat the polity.
“ The vote not fight campaign is to educate the electorates as to why they should exercise their civic rights without engaging in any form of violence or allow themselves to be pushed into violence”.
On his part, the program manager Youth and People with Disabilities (PWD) of the NDI, Mr Ben Aga noted that the youths are the mostly affected during electoral violence either as perpetrators or victims.
He stressed that the vote not fight campaign launch and training of coordinators who will trickle the training to the ward levels is part of efforts to guarantee a peaceful, fair, free and credible elections without recourse to whoever wins and under whatever political party.
In his goodwill message, the Kaduna State administrative secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Alhaji Mohammed Mashi commended the organizers of the program and called on the youths to do what is
right and at all times devoid of any form of sentiments on grounds of tribe, religion, party or ethnicity.
He assured that the 2019 election will not only be free, fair and credible, it would be an improvement over previous elections ever held in this country.
Meanwhile, the police representative, SP Abdulazeez Isa in his goodwill message said, “Youths must be watchful with their activities before, during and after the elections, stressing that the police will not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone who ferment or partake in any form of violence.
The NUJ Chairman, Adamu Yusuf, on his part assured to collaborate with relevant agencies towards free, fair and credible polls in 2019.