BY EMMANUEL DAJI in Lokoja•
As violence characterise the governorship and senatorial election Saturday, a non-governmental organisation, the Igala Heritage Foundation, has appealed to youth in Kogi State not to allow themselves to be used for violence during the election.
Founder of the group, Chief Ogwu Onoja, SAN, in a statement also called on those seeking to be elected, as governor and senator to remember that the state was greater than them and to refrain from doing anything that would jeopardise the state’s future.
Onoja also called on all political stakeholders in the state to ensure that they avoid violence and electoral malpractices by all legal and reasonable means.
According to him, the preliminary reports coming out of the state regarding preparations for the elections heighten concerns of every patriotic and peace-loving Kogite, as well as every believer in democracy in Nigeria.
“There are fears and intimidation in the land to the point that dissenting opinions to style of governance are cruelly hounded and silenced. Threats of political assassination are rampant and people cry endlessly of hunger and penury in the midst of abounding but unexplored human and material resources,” Onoja noted.
While calling on all the people of Kogi State to our their differences aside and vote for candidates that have the capacity to develop of the state, Onoja noted that the biggest need of Kogi State at this period of her democratic history was visionary and purposeful leadership.
He said: “It takes a visionary leader who sees beyond the mundane and bizarre to creatively envision a beautiful, industrialised, infrastructural developed, poverty-free and prosperous state and then come up with policies and programmes capable of actualising that vision.
“That is why countries are known by the kind of leaders and output of governance structure.”
He warned youths in the state to remember that no ambition of any political party or individual was worth the destruction of Kogi State.
He also challenged voters in Kogi State, especially the youths not to succumb to the divisive politics by desperate politicians in the state.
“Whichever is your tribe, please vote for good governance and accountability”, he added.
He urged the youths to seize the opportunity of the election to enthrone leadership that would govern the state with righteousness, good conscience and maturity.