... Supports 'Vote Not Fight' Campaign
As the general elections draw nearer, the people and government of the United States of America have reiterated their desire to ensure that the exercise is conducted and participated in without any breach by the citizens and Nigerian authorities.
Speaking on Sunday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, at the 'Vote Not Fight' Mega Peace campaign, the US Consulate-General in Nigeria,.........., said both the American and British peoples and Governments are interested in the elections, even though they are not supporting any candidate.
He explained that all they and the international community want is a free, fair, credible and violent-free elections that would usher in an acceptable and popular government in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, CP Usman Belle, commended the organisers of the event and called on youths not to destroy their tommorow but to resist politicians who attempt to lure them with little money to engage in violent acts.
CP Belle, who said the Police will conduct themselves according to acceptable standards, urged Nigerian youths to tell any politician who asks them to take up guns during the elections to first engage his children on such assignment.
He alligned the Police authorities to the "Vote Not Fight" campaign.
On his part, the INEC Rivers Resident Commissioner, Obong Efanga, also lauded the initiative, assuring that the Commission is poised to change the narrative in Rivers State.
According to the INEC Resident Commissioner, "we would ensure peace like a river in Rivers", noting that what makes elections peaceful is when people come to vote in a peaceful manner, warning that INEC not tolerate any disturbance on any election day.
"We want women, people with disability and everyone to come out and vote freely. INEC wants to conduct peaceful elections".
In a related speech, the State Director of National Orientation Agency, Young Ayotamono, called on Rivers people and indeed, all Nigerians to vote according to their conscience, while appealing to potential electorate to ensure they collect their PVCs.
The State NOA Director disclosed that PVCs collection centres have been decentralized by INEC, that citizens should take advantage of that and collect their PVCs. He explained that NOA has created awareness in most communities so that electorate will vote peacefully.
Speaking on the Peace Concert, popular and award-winning musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly called 2Baba, who leads the "Vote Not Fight": Election No be War Campaign, called on Rivers youths to shun violence, vote wisely and peacefully during the forthcoming elections.
2Baba said the youths should not allow their destiny to be jeopardize by the politicians but to be resolute in ensuring the election is violent free.
According to Idibia, who is the Vote Not Fight Peace Ambassador, the campaign is a non-partisan and youth-focused voter education campaign that promotes constructive youth participation in Nigeria's political and electoral processes since the 2015 general Elections.
The campaign, he said, seeks to increase youth voter turnout and mobilize against hate speech, electoral violence and vote buying, explaining that the Vote Note Fight campaign reached 62 million Nigerians with voter awareness messages during the 2015 elections.
He used the opportunity to caution thousands of Rivers youths and other stakeholders against violent conduct before, during and after the 2019 general Elections.
He thanked the campaign's international partners which include, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), United States Agency for International Development ( (USAID), UKAID and Department for International Development for their supports.
Other personalities at the event include the State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Rivers State, youths leaders, representatives of NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, leading artistes and commedians.
The Vote Not Fight Mega Peace Concert was organized by Youngsters Development Initiative and 2Baba Foundation, in collaboration with Project Africa.