By Obeten Godfrey
The Cross River State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Asu Okag has accused the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Senator John Owan-Enoh of galvanizing and empowering youths as a tool for political violence.
Comrade Okang made the accusation Sunday, 20th January, 2018 at the ‘I Pledge To Vote’ concert organized by Civic Tech Startup, CrowdPol in Calabar; and monitored by CrossRiverWatch.
His words: “Well I thank you for this ingenuity for putting up this show trying to sensitize young people to understand the myth in their votes. Our votes as young people basically counts at a time like this even more. Nigeria in itself is bedeviled with the kind of leadership that you and I may not be pleased with.
“The leadership of this country may not have clearly represented the aspirations of young people and as young people this is the time to begin to muster our population to take advantage of our demographic dividends as young people and be able to ensure that we create the needed change that we need.
“How many of you have watched the enthusiasm the latest political happenings in the country? How many have looked at your President seeing the way he talks, seeing the way he answers to questions and you are wondering is that the kind of President you are proud to have as Nigerian.
“This is not a political campaign rather, but I’ll like to make it very clear that we have an opportunity in our hands to change and bring to leadership the kind of leadership that we want as young people. Therefore, we are face to face with destiny, we have a rendezvous with destiny together and if we must create the needed change that we have to then our PVC’s must count.
“It’s important that you turn up on election day to vote. Your PVC is useless if you don’t come out to exercise that franchise. We are also aware that even as at yesterday, there has been a lot of violent activities been orchestrated by certain quarters. As at two days ago or day before yesterday, some young people went to the extent of matcheting other young people. As at today, we have just left Asi Ukpo; there are two young people lying in very critical conditions there, two more are on their way to Calabar you know in a pool blood, a pool of blood; just swimming in their own pool of blood. Is that what we bargained for? Is that what we bargained for?
“For the people who are shifting, who are pushing, who are even asking them to go and matchet other people, what you shouldn’t forget to do is ask them where are their own children in the field? The APC governorship candidate, Senator John Owan-Enoh knowing quite well that there is a clear cut consideration for zoning left to the Central coming from the South, had an opportunity to galvanize boys, move in and started matcheting people.
“We are not talking party here, but very clearly we must call a spade a spade. Four young people are down just to scare you from coming out to cast your vote. There will do more, there will shoot in the air just to scare you from coming out to cast your vote because there understand the power behind that vote. They know that if you vote there will lose, they are afraid of losing the empire, they are afraid of losing that future that they have taken from us.
“We must take that future in our own hands, therefore we must vote. So please no matter how many gunshots they shoot in the air, insist on coming out to vote, and when you come out to vote, stay there and ensure that your vote count. Do not vote and go back home. When you vote, stay there and ensure that your vote count. Many more will be down because we have heard their plans.
“But with the apparatus of government, we will ensure that anybody who is involved in such heinous act would not go unpunished. Therefore I appeal to all of us please, do not be intimidated, refuse consciously to be intimidated by anybody, any party even if its PDP my own party that wants to intimidate you from voting, resist them because our future is in our hands regardless of the party lines.
“But I understand that the major orchestrators of this violence are on the other side, if they come resist them, resist them; because our votes must count in 2019. Therefore let me again commend our young people for putting up this program together. It’s not easy to put up a program of this magnitude; I have seen so many young people around.
“You may think that what you’re doing is not much but I can assure you that this sensitization will go a long way to make young people understand that they must exercise their franchise. I thank all of you for your patience, thank you for what you’re putting up together and as young people, continue to build hegemony and solidarity because together we can build a better future for this country. Thank you so much and god bless you.” The Cross River State Commissioner for Youth and Sports maintained.
As at the time of filing this report, efforts made to verify the claims were futile.
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