Former Inspector General of Police (AIG), Felix Ogbaudu, has called on youths to eschew any form of violence capable of affecting the outcome of the Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Ogbaudu, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, said youths should not be involved in snatching of ballot boxes.
While expressing concern about the spate of pre-election violence leading to loss of lives and property, he said election was not a war and should not lead to losses of any form.
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He said, “I hope that come tomorrow the election will hold and we shall not have any reason to postpone again.
People, including foreign countries, have been appealing to us to conduct ourselves well on the election day.
It takes nothing to destroy but it takes so much to build. That is why I continue to appeal to Nigerians that we must not allow our temper to control us; we must learn to control our temper.”
Ogbaudu, a lawyer, said anyone aggrieved about the conduct of election, should seek legal means of seeking redress rather than resorting to violence.
“If there are challenges and anyone feels marginalised, there are legal ways of going about pursuing our rights but not resorting to violence,”
He advised the youths not to allow politicians to use them to perpetrate violence, adding that such politicians usually sent their children abroad for studies.
“I also appeal to the youths not to allow any politician to engage as thugs. If you must agree to be a thug, ask the politicians where their children are to join you.
Our youths should please eschew violence,” the former AIG advised.
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He further called on politicians to desist from using other people’s children, particularly the children of the poor to cause mayhem.
The former AIG lamented that violence had continued unabated across the country because there were no stringent measures to deter potential offenders.
Ogbaudu called for more stringent measures within the law to tackle the problem of violence and ballot box snatching during elections.
“I was going through the Electoral Act and Section 136 made provision for two different punishments for snatchers and destroyers of election materials,” he said.
He further called on all Nigerians to conduct themselves well during the election to avoid acts capable of impacting negatively on the outcome of the election negatively. (NAN)