Innocent Idibia, commonly known as ‘2baba,’ Nigeria’s famed pop musician, has advised youngsters in Anambra to be peacemakers and avoid violence during the state’s governorship election on November 6.
Idibia made the call at the ongoing “Vote Not to Fight” campaign organized by the Catch Them Young Community Initiative (CATYCOI) in collaboration with the 2Face Idibia Foundation on Thursday in Awka.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are both supporting the campaign (USAID).
“We are here to engage with Anambra youths and promote for peace, particularly as we prepare for the election,” he stated.
“Our youth are crucial stakeholders, which is why politicians utilize them to incite violence.”
I’d want to tell you that violence has no benefit and only ruins lives and property.
“As young, we must advocate peace because without peace, elections cannot be free, fair, and credible, and progress cannot occur.”
“Let us remember that the election is not a battleground, but rather an opportunity for us to engage by voting sensibly for the candidate who can help safeguard our future,” he stated.
Idibia asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security forces to carry out their duty impartially.
He also urged voters to work with security forces to achieve a peaceful election on November 6.
Mr Ben Aga, Programme Director, NDI, also spoke, stating that the institute would always support programs and activities that would ensure the success of the country’s democratic process.
According to Aga, the NDI recognizes youth as assets and the future of the country, as well as vital partners in ensuring a peaceful election in the state.
Eworo Echeng, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra, said the police was committed to ensuring people’ safety and security before, during, and after the election.
Echeng, represented by ACP Emma Ogbuanya, stated that they were working on intelligence collecting with other security agencies, CSOs, community and traditional leaders.
While urging the youth to embrace peace, he also asked the people to vote on election dates without fear of being attacked or harassed.
Mr Nonso Orakwe, Executive Director of CATYCOI, stated in his remarks that the involvement of youths in election-related violence had been particularly dynamic, as they had been both perpetrators and victims at the same time.
“Youths are easy recruiters for attacks and violence during elections due to declining societal values and poverty.” “With this campaign, we hope to shift narratives and become peace ambassadors in our country,” Orakwe added.