A non-governmental organization, Nigerian Youth Decide (NYD), has flagged-off its sensitization campaign for a violence-free general elections in 2023 in Bayelsa State.
Speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa, the state capital, the State Coordinator, Comrade Meshach Sintei, stressed the need for youths to take the centre stage, rather than being used to perpetrate violence by political actors.
He said that the NYD believes that if the youths are properly sensitized, they won’t take up arms against fellow citizens during elections, “hence the need to remind them and change the narrative”.
Comrade Meshach Sintei also said that the mandate of NYD goes beyond violence-free elections, saying that their desire is to ensure that the youths take the centre stage on topical issues in Nigeria.
He said: “One of our objectives is to ensure that there’s a change in the narrative. The youths in Bayelsa State are the larger population during elections, but they are being used by politicians against their fellow youths to cause violence.
“Now we are saying come 2023 elections, the Bayelsa youth should take his place, and say no to electoral violence and other forms of electoral irregularities that plague elections allegedly perpetrated by youths.
“Youths need to change their mindset. This is not the narrative we should be playing out. If youths are properly sensitized they will not be resorting to violence”.
Comrade Sintei noted that about 18 items are slated for the ongoing constitutional reforms and so the youths should be prepared to discuss the issues, adding that there is no better platform for this than NYD.