As Nigerians brace to go to the polls on February 16 and March 2, 2019,
In an effort to have peaceful general elections in the country, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), known as Life Challenge Intervention Outreach (LCIO) on Saturday February 3, 2019 convened a one-day seminar to sensitize young men and women on the dangers of violence , drug use and voters apathy in the North and the entire country.
The convener and founder of LCIO, Mr. Ejike Mcbishop Egbueji, in his welcome address, said there was the need to remind the youth to convert their energy into productive pursuit by promoting a violence free elections during the forthcoming polls in order to promote growth and development of the country.
According to Mr Ejike Mcbishops, the programme was organised to sensitise the youths on how to conduct themselves during and after the polls and how to guide against being used as tools in the hands of politicians at this electioneering period to cause violence in the society
According to Mcbishops, the programme was organised to sensitise them to remain guided against being tools in the hands of politicians at this electioneering period to cause violence in the society.
He posited that, LCIO has been focused on reaching out to young people and using all scientific methods to discourage them from the use and abuse of drugs, adding, “it’s one of the things politicians make available in large quantities at every electioneering period to trap them”.
“We have discovered that there is a relationship between drugs and violence, when you are under the influence of drugs your decisions would be affected by making you to be irrational in terms of choice making particularly during election”.
“We are also creating massive awareness on drug use and abuse especially during this election period so that our society will not be impacted negatively
“At the end of the day we intend to achieve a situation where there would be a peaceful election with no trace or incidence of violence
He attributed the menace of drug use and abuse to poverty and unemployment which make the youths to be vulnerable to politicians who give them meagre amount to perpetrate evil”.
The convener of the programme also asserted that to curb the dreaded pathology in the society, all hands must be on deck as he called on government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders to create employment to the teeming youths for them to be independent
“We are getting support from the US government and that has helped us facilitate some of our programmes and out reaches which have started yielding results
“We have an empowerment programme in which after reaching out to them, we also empower and rehabilitate and alot of them have been recovering via our programmes, they have stop using drugs
“Some of them who have been responding positively,we try to engage them positively to become productive elements of their communities
“Alot of them are learning skills, some of them who have interest in going back to school we have been able to help them register for Waec or Neco and assisting them financially so that they can be able to go back to school
“One thing that is necessary after recovery is for them to properly reintegrate into the society “.
McBishop said Life Challenge Intervention Outreach is partnering other organisations such as the media, YALI, creative arts and writers association, interfaith mediation, drug free ambassadors, mental health facilities amongst others towards achieving the desired objectives.
One of the participant and a multimedia journalist , Daniel Karl Marx raised the stake higher when he urged the people not to be tired of voting adding that their votes could create a balance.
Mr.Karl Max then gave a rendition tiltled Power of One Vote : “In 1800 – Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the House of Representatives after a tie in the Electoral College.
“In 1824 – Andrew Jackson won the presidential popular vote but lost by one vote in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams after an Electoral College dead-lock.
“In 1845 – The U.S. Senate passed the convention annexing Texas by two votes (27/25).
“In 1846 – President Polk’s request for a Declaration of War against Mexico passed by one vote.
“In 1867 – The Alaska purchase was ratified in the Senate by two votes: 37-2, paving the way for future statehood.
“In 1868 – President Andrew Johnson was Impeached but not convicted because the Senate was one vote shy of the necessary two thirds required”.
The event also featured participants from other groups including the Young African Leadership Initiative, (YALI), Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiatives(Si4dev) .