By Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
As Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general elections, no less than 30 youth organizations have banded together against political violence and youth violence in Gombe State. According to groups converging under the Ready to Run movement, the gang was to ensure peaceful coexistence before, during and after the election.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Sun in Gombe, the movement’s national coordinator, Comrade Auwal Gombe, said the group had seen signs that the 2023 general elections would not be so different from previous elections in terms of of violence, desperation and hate speech.
“From all indications, we have seen signs that the 2023 election could be bloody because of the body language of key players and actors who are unwilling or likely to accept defeat,” Auwal said while affirming the need for civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to embark on a massive awareness campaign to mitigate the treatment.
According to him, the ready-to-run movement is made up of young people and youth organizations campaigning for good governance and other awareness campaigns. “We are engaging and speaking directly with young people to try as much as possible to stay on the right side of the law, we should stop making ourselves available to be used as weapons by corrupt politicians and those desperate for power,” a- he declared.
Auwal further explained that over the past three months, the group has visited various schools to sensitize students and other young people against involvement in violence and political brutality. “We have also urged politicians and party leaders to avoid involving young people in do or die politics. We encouraged them to play by the rules as politics, politics and elections are supposed to be about popularity and having the trust of the people and not about pass or fail,” the coordinator said.
“We have written to the police and other security organizations urging them to be vigilant and proactive in mitigating crime and criminality, including political thugs, we have also contacted the National Combating Agency Against Drugs (NDLEA) to be vigilant and work to limit the circulation of known drugs and substances of abuse,” Auwal added.
Meanwhile, the Gombe State Police Command assured that it had intensified its efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence before, during and after the general elections. According to ASP Command Spokesperson Mahid Muazu, the Police Commissioner in charge of CP Command Babatunde Babaita has engaged the politicians and leaders of various political parties in the state to address issues of rivalry between political parties and their politicians as well. than their social media influencers.
“The PC organized the meeting with the politicians including the presidents, secretaries and public relations officers of the parties, the second meeting was for the influencers and social media managers of the various political parties in the state, now we are planning a neighborhood-to-neighborhood outreach campaign for young people and other vulnerable groups who might be targeted by politicians to incite political violence or other social vices,” Mahid told the Daily Sun.