Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) has flagged off the pilot scheme of Youth Campaign Against Election Violence (Y-CAEV), in Abuja, Nigeria. The Commonwealth Youth Council is an autonomous youth-led body, which aims to further advance the youth development agenda and strengthen young people’s participation in the Commonwealth.
It is on record that a Nigerian, Ahmed Adamu, is the Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Council. He emerged as the leader of the group late last year in a keenly contested election held in an Asian country. Speaking at the occasion, he told newsmen that Nigeria was chosen for the pilot stage because of series of elections to take place between now and early next near. According to him the project will be replicated in other Commonwealth Nations subsequently. He said the programme was designed to sensitize the youth on how to conduct themselves during elections, in order to avoid being used by politicians. He informed journalist that there will be state and local government marshals who will conduct the exercise at their levels.
Y-CAEV will change the way youths go about election issues. An official of CYC, Ubong Edet Ekoi, said that one of the causes of election violence in propaganda. He observed that those who do not have much to over the populace resort to propaganda to ferment trouble during election. He advised youths to first and foremost, prepare themselves for election by making sure they have voter cards. He also noted that when the youth can avoid being used in an election if they organize themselves before any election.
A major stakeholder on youth matter, Gideon O. Obande, Speaker Northern Youth Assembly of Nigeria, said that the major cause of youth involvement in election violence is poverty. He revealed that 70% of election violence can be attributed to poverty and suggested that the youth should be empowered with skills that will help them to be self-reliant. According to him, other solutions to the issue will be easier to handle as soon as majority of the youth are gainfully engaged. He warned bad leaders to stop using the youth to ferment troubles during elections.
Also the programme was a stalwart of APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima. In is usual way of uprightness, he enjoined the youths not to be deceived by politicians who say one thing and do the opposite. When he was asked to comment on the statement made PDP youth leader that PDP has been empowering the youth, Alhaji Galadima dismissed the statement with a wave of the hand. He asked newsmen if he was given a standing ovation. He therefore advised the youths to be steadfast in their believe in the country and promised them that they would soon smile under a new order.
Y-CAEV programmes will be replicated in other parts of the country before the general elections next year- 2014.