From Nwimo Chukwudike, Awka
A nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization known as Catch Them Young Community Initiative (CATYCOI) has kicked off the “Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War” Campaign in Awka, Anambra state.
The campaign was launched in 2014 and is in collaboration with the 2Face Idibia Foundation with support from National Democratic Institute and the United States Agency for International Development.
The Executive Director CATYCOI, Mr. Nonso Orakwe, alongside other coordinators in the state, stormed the popular Nwoke Udi relaxation spot, situated along the ever-busy club road, Awka, where they partnered with the business owner to sensitize fun seekers on the dangers of election violence and the need to exercise their civic responsibilities in the forthcoming general election.
Mr. Orakwe who doubles as the ‘Vote Not Fight’ convener, in the southeast, said that the campaign was to pass the message to youths, politicians, and other stakeholders that the general election should not be a do-or-die affair.
His words, “The process of electing leaders in Nigeria has been plagued by a myriad of problems, ranging from voter intimidation and suppression to harassment and outright violence.
“This campaign is to change the ugly trend, especially as Nigeria prepares for the general election and bring lasting peace in our political space.
“We urge our youths to prevent electoral violence by upholding democratic principles before, during, and after elections, because there is a connection between violence-free election, peace, and development.”
coordinator, Chiamaka Okparaojiego, emphasized that the people were sensitized on a collection of PVCs, being peaceful, choosing the right candidate, and overall voter education.
She said elections in the country are usually marred by violence. She also noted that since the group was launched in 2015, violence associated with elections had reduced, but informed that the group would not want the country to go back to its former ways, hence the need to launch the campaign again.
Contributing, Mazi Ndubuisi Eze popularly known as ‘Nwoke Udi’ said the campaign is of immense advantage to the people around and the society at large. “For them to come and talk to people in this way is a welcome idea. The impact was felt.”
He encouraged Nigerians to vote and not fight. He charged them to spread the message across every length and breadth of the country. He also urged citizens to collect their PVCs, shun voter apathy, and vote wisely during the election.