Governorship candidate for Lagos State Alliance for Democracy (AD), High Chief Owolabi Salis, have urged Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians as thugs to unleash violence as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections.
Salis stated that the forthcoming election could be disrupted if the youths are not guided properly to shun all form of violence before, during and after the 2019 general election and avoid thuggery.
He disclosed this during a press briefing held on Sunday decried the endless killings of opponent going on in Shomolu.
He said some youths in Shomolu were gruesomely murdered, including the wife of one of this men murdered.
“There is an increasing death tow in Shomolu and its environs, youths restiveness that should be addressed urgently, in Lagos and the country as well.
Salis said, “There is nothing wrong in forming various youth groups but it should always have positive motive, in their competition it should be to outsmart each other and not to kill themselves in rivalry.
“Some politicians have taken advantage of various youth groups by arming them and using them as thugs.”
He described that as unfair and a form of “systemic slavery”, whereby the youth has not realise their true potential that they can use to effect a positive change in the society.
Salis said two persons, who the police described as notorious cult gang members, were shot dead at the venue of a political meeting on Wednesday at Shomolu area of Lagos State.
Also, 21 others who participated in the bloody clash have since been arrested. He added that youths should rather be engaged positively by educating and providing jobs for them, to advance their social and economic lives.
He urged government at all levels to look into various ways for possible solutions to the menace among the youths.
Furthermore, he said that they should embark on massive sensitisation and reorientation of the youth, acquainting them with their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the country.
The governorship candidate also said that government should continue to show serious commitment to the eradication of corruption by ensuring speedy trial and punishment of corrupt persons to serve as deterrent.
He said: “The menace is a big blow to the economy and I feel bad with what is going on in the state and the country right now.”
He called for more political tolerance and understanding, saying that as political parties “we don’t need to fight” but have healthy competition.
However, he urged the party supporters to maintain law and order, stressing that ” the party has come to stay to ensure good democratic governance”.
He urged them to put all hands on deck to promote the lofty ideals of the party in the rural areas.
Salis said that the AD would continue to sue for peaceful co-existence and improving the living standards of the people.
Earlier, the AD Chairman, Kola Ajayi, urged youths to have a rethink and a change in orientation.
Ajayi said: “There is no point going violent because you are given stipends to mortgage your future for four years.”
Also, the President, Lagos Youth Vanguard, Seyi Oyewole, advised that youths should rather tell politicians to plan their future than engage them negatively.