Nigerian Youths And the 2019 General Elections
In the next few months, the 2019 general elections could commence at various levels across the states of the federation and Abuja, the federal capital territory.
As the elections draw near, eligible voters are expected to have collected their voters’ cards in preparation for the D-days.
Though, it was reported in the media that some unnamed politicians are putting pressure of INEC to sell uncollected voters cards running into hundreds of thousands to them
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had earlier issued timetables for the elections, where voters are expected to come out enmass to vote for the candidates of their choices.
Based on the timetable released by INEC, political parties and their political aspirants have commenced campaigns at the local, state and federal levels.
However, the federal government, INEC, security agencies and other critical stakeholders involved in election issues in the country have being preaching the gospel of a free, fair and credible poll come 2019.
The government has frown at hate speeches and unguided statements from politicians and political parties.
Yet, some politicians from the top two major political parties- the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are making statements that could be interpreted as hate speeches.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has however handed down a stern warning that the Nigeria Police Force will not tolerate inciting and unguided statements by politicians and others people before, during and after the forth-coming elections.
Idris had handed instructions to all the state police commands to hold meetings with political parties and politicians on the need to ensure that the coming elections are violence-free.
In Lagos, the State Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohinmi last week held a meeting with political parties and politicians at the Police Officers Mess in GRA, Ikeja.
Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Mr Jimi Agbaje, governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, were among the top politicians that attended the police-political parties parley.
Media reports nationwide also have it that police commissioners in various states held meetings with politicians and political parties.
It is also worthy to note that earlier, a peace accord document was signed by leaders of all the registered political parties in the country.
Nigerians are therefore waiting to see how the accord will play out, even as some non-governmental organizations, government agencies, INEC, ICPC, EFCC and other critical stakeholders in electoral issues are preaching against vote buying.
Yes, the police, INEC, and other security agencies have said that hate speeches, do-or-die brand of politics, violence, bloodbath, and vote-buying, ballot box snatching, etc, will not be tolerated or accepted before, during and after the forth-coming elections.
But, some politicians, political parties, and public commentators, are using the conventional and the social media as platforms to make seemingly inciting comments ahead of the elections.
However, as leaders of tomorrow, youths in Nigeria have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the forth-coming elections come out clean and credible.
In our beloved country with an estimated population of 200 million people, our youths constitute about 40% of these figures. This is a huge market for local and foreign investors and companies, who are presently doing business in Nigeria.
It is also a promising country for investors who are contemplating coming to Nigeria to setup their business concerns.
But, if our youths allow themselves to be armed, empowered and used by politicians as political thugs, or paid killers, before, during and after the elections, I am afraid this will not portend well for the country.
It is stated in the holy book, the Bible that what we sow today, we reap tomorrow. This means for individuals, state and nations, the good or bad we do to ourselves and others will certainly return to us.
As the elections approaches, it is advisable for our youths to be involved in national, patriotic and Godly missions.
They should refrain from violence, bloodbath, vote buying and other electoral offences and instead volunteer to educate other people on the negative effects of indulging in these acts.
Also, those who are involved in criminal activities, violence, murder, kidnapping, ritual activities for reasons best known to them are not doing humanity any good.
In all honestly, there are lots and lots of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, paramilitary organizations and foreign and local agencies that have done a lot and are still doing their very best to work in ensuring that Nigeria youths in Nigeria, turn away from social vices and embrace peace, unity and progress as leaders of tomorrow.
With all modesty, as the Director-General of Harpazo Chaplain Corps International, a paramilitary outfit registered and approved by Federal Ministry of Justice, some government agencies and the United Nations Global Compact to protect humanity against dehumanization, we are urging youths in our beloved country to join hand with us or any humanitarian service bodies to work in ensuring that Nigeria is violence free, crime-free, peaceful, prosperous and united.
Our main service is focus on: Religions & Education. We are official partner with some Government law enforcement Agencies and United Nations (Global Compact).
To campaign against dehumanizing acts, carry out research, gather information on activities and report suspicious acts at religious, education centers and public places to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
We encourage youths in Nigeria, who could volunteer their resources, time, talents and experience to come join us or any other similar organization in working toward ensuring that Nigeria is crime-free, violence-free, peaceful, united and progressive.
For 12 years, our organization has worked with like-minded persons above the age of 18 years across Nigeria and other countries to tackle all forms of dehumanization.
And we know God and humanity will score us high if we partner in the coming year to work in ensuring that our beloved country is not go up in flame due to violence, bloodbath political thuggerry and other forms of criminalities.
Returns on serving the nation is unlimited for individuals and the country, as peace, unity, progress and all round development, could eventually become ours.
These are the reasons Harpazo Corps Service of HCCI is calling on all good citizens to come together and support the growth of our great nation, Nigeria. some, join us and make Nigeria great.
Dr Joseph Joluwaseyi, is the Director-General of Harpazo Corps Service.
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