By Ali Abare Abubakar.
ormer national captain of the Super Eagles and Youth Ambassador, Joseph Yobo yesterday called on Nigerians to shun violence as a means of protesting results of the upcoming general elections.
Mr. Yobo who is also the brand Ambassador of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ward to Ward Initiative, called on Nigerian youth to resist the temptation to be used as political thugs while also cautioning politicians against making inciting remarks which are capable of fostering hatred and an attendant breakdown of law and order.
In a statement circulated in Abuja, the youth ambassador observed that the current inflammatory utterances by some politicians as we approach the upcoming elections may not augur well with the need to promote national unity and a subsistent electoral process.
MR. Yobo also expressed his gratitude to community and religious leaders who have publicly proclaimed the need to shun violence before, during and after the elections, urging them to continue in their good efforts.
“The youth are the building block of any society. We therefore have to stand up firmly against all forms of electoral violence and instead concentrate on productive pursuits and constructive nation building,” he said.
He also pointed out that the recent signing of a peace pact by President Goodluck Jonathan and the other presidential candidates is not only encouraging but also an indication of good statesmanship on their party.
Yobo reminded the youth that those politicians who incite them to violence and at the same time use them as human shields usually have their children and family members tucked away overseas in safe havens and far from any source of harm.
He commended President Jonathan for recently urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that all eligible Nigerians are given the opportunity to exercise their franchise by making the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) available to them.
He also called on the public to engage more in constructive public debates ABOUT THE ELECTION PROCESS and TO DESIST from ethno- religious ARGUMENTS WHICH CAUSE FURTHER FRICTION.
He said he can be seen as a living testimony of the possibility of utilizing opportunities available to every Nigerian citizen and which could equally be tapped by every Nigerian youth without necessarily resorting to violence.
“My story is an example of the magnitude of accomplishments and success that one can attain in our country today because of the tremendous opportunities for growth that is available to all Nigerian youth in Nigeria today irrespective of their tribes or background. However, we cannot achieve any meaningful individual or collective progress in a nation plagued by violence”, he said.