2011 Polls: Lagos Charges Youths To Shun Violence


Ahead of next year’s elections, the Lagos State Government has charged youths in the  state to shun all forms of violence, thuggery and social vices that may mar the  success of the forthcoming polls.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru  gave this advise at the weekend during the 21010 Youth and Governance Seminar with  the theme: Nigerian Democracy and Good Governance: The Youth as Tool of Change held  at the State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

According to him, youths should rather imbibe the spirit of adventure, patriotism  and resourcefulness in order to be the vanguard of societal development, credible  elections and campaign for one man, one vote.

The special adviser said the seminar was apt, as the 2011 elections draw nearer,  stressing that past elections were characterized by one problem or the other as  youths were often used to perpetrate electoral malpractices and political violence.

“This is because the youths are not aware of the fact that they have positive roles  to play; they do not perceive themselves as agents of change, neither do they  understand the effect of electoral fraud on their future nor do they know that  voting during the election is their civic responsibility to pick a candidate who  would represent them and agitate for their collective interest as well as the  development of their community.

“If youths are to be seen as a tool for positive change in terms of democracy and  good governance, the youth must actively participate and be involved in politics  locally and nationally,” he said.

“Their involvement and participation should start at the point of mobilizing  themselves for the registration exercise, ensuring that they vote to choose  candidates of their choice; a candidate that will be able to articulate their course  and initiate developmental projects that can raise the standard of living of the  citizens,” he added.

Badru urged the youths to project themselves as agent of change, saying that since  they constituted the larger part of the population, they have what it takes to  determine who would govern them.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Kamol  Junaid stated that the future of the nation is in the youths and they should be made  to play positive roles in ensuring that electioneering campaigns were crisis and  violence free, issue based and youth informed.

“In spite of the fact that past elections in this country had always been  characterized by violence and various forms of electoral malpractices, the youths  should not lose focus, but reject in totality any attempt to be used by unscrupulous  vote speculators to perpetrate electoral malpractices and violence of any kind.

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