Youth of Delta Central have said “no politician’s ambition is worth the blood of any Urhobo youth”.
They have also resolved to rise against political violence before, during and after the 2019 elections.
The youth, under the umbrella of Delta Central Equity Group (DCEG), stated this on Tuesday at Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, during an enlarged appraisal meeting of political events, which followed the endorsement of Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, for a second tenure.
Speaking on behalf of the youth, numbering over 5,000, Morris Idiovwa, convener of DCEG, said: “We must take our destiny into our own hands, and we must reject the antics of politicians taking advantage of the youth to cause crisis during the elections.
“The era of politicians giving peanuts to the youth to cause mayhem during elections is over. We must say no to spilling of blood during elections. So many of our brothers have been killed during elections, and we must say no to violent elections. Apart from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa whom we have endorsed for second tenure, no candidate of any party will be imposed on anyone. We won’t impose candidates on our people. We are working across party lines, and anyone contesting elections in Delta Central must campaign and tell the people his manifesto.
“Our group was formed on the strength of equity, defending our rights and based on that, we are throwing our support behind Okowa for the sake of equity. Any candidate we are working for must give us the benefit of doubt that such candidate will not disappoint the people. The peanuts the politicians give to you the youth is not worth the killing and spilling the blood of your own brother. The painful aspect of it is that after elections you don’t see the politicians again till the next four years.
“Okowa is one of the most humble and accessible governors ever produced in Delta State. My fellow Urhobo youth, we must be able to define our future and defend our rights and we shall not allow any of our brothers to be killed in this elections. We must maintain peace and preach peace to avoid blood bath and violence during the elections, especially the March 2 elections. As a group, our primary purpose is to endorse individuals, not political parties, and based on that, we have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a second tenure.”
According to Idiovwa, those plotting to rig elections would be disappointed.
“No youth will support or promote violence in Delta Central during election,” he added.
In his remarks, James Ibori, a former Governor of Delta State, who accompanied Okowa to the meeting, commended the youth for the solidarity.
On his part, Okowa commended the group for the show of support, just as he appealed to all and sundry to maintain peace, vote and defend their votes.
“The youth will not be forgotten for the support. We must all try to give peace a chance. Continue to follow peace so that dividends of democracy can reach you all,” Okowa stated.