Youth leaders in Akwa Ibom flag off ‘No Violence Campaign’
• Cleric cautions politicians against electoral violence
Coalition of youth leaders in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday carried out a peaceful march across major streets in Uyo, the capital, calling for peace before, during and after the 2019 general elections. Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others made up the coalition.
The over 10,000 youths, during the march, sang and prayed for peaceful electoral process from Ibom Plaza to Government House where the deputy governor, Moses Ekpo, and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, received them.The chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Akwa Ibom chapter, Rev. (Dr.) Ndueso Essien, flagged off the peaceful march at Ibom Plaza.
In his homily, the CAN chairman, who was represented by Rev. Joshua Cleopas, advised the youths to shun acts capable of sparking off violence in the coming elections.He further warned against hate speech and thuggery, as they had been the bane of development for years.
Facilitator of the ‘No Violence Campaign’, Mr. Isangobong Eyibio, told the participants that the essence of the campaign was to sensitise youths to shun being used as thugs, social media attack dogs and associated vices.
He recounted the ordeals of youth corps members in the northern part of Nigeria in the recent past as a monumental waste of intellectual energy and human resources, as young Nigerians were murdered in cold blood in politically-motivated violence.
Recalling a similar gory event in Akwa Ibom, Isangobong recalled when youths were used as instruments of chaos and destruction round the state.
Similarly, president of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Abraham Akinosun, has cautioned politicians against stockpiling arms to cause violence at the polls.
In an interview at the church headquarters, Ikeji Arakeji in Osun State, the cleric expressed concern that politicians who would be serving humanity could be acquiring arms and training thugs to destabilise the country.
Akinosun advised politicians who lose election to accept defeat, while winners should be magnanimous in victory to move the country forward. He also urged politicians to use their positions to provide better welfare for the people and ensure security of lives and property.
According to him, the late Abraham Lincoln lost election several times before he eventually emerged president of the United States of America.
The cleric advised the electorate to have confidence in the electoral process, shun violence and vote for candidates with the fear of God and who would deliver the dividends of democracy.He advised parents not to allow their children to be used as thugs to foment trouble during elections.
On the achievements of CAC worldwide in the last 100 years, Akinosun contended that the church established trending colleges and the first entrepreneurial university in Nigeria, the Joseph Ayo Babalola Univeristy (JABU) founded in 2005 at Ikeji Arakeji in Osun State, while evangelising Nigeria, Africa, U.S. and Europe.He charged clerics in Nigeria to imbibe the doctrines of Christ and Christianity.
CAC, he added, is making moves to resolve the crisis rocking its leadership. Speaking on the genesis of the CAC, the president explained that the church was established in1929 by a small group led by Apostle Joseph Babalola, who was a roller driver at Ikeji Arakeji. He noted that at the beginning, the church recorded miracles, including raising the dead and healing the sick.
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