Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Niger Delta Youth Movement has called on the Federal Government to check the influx of firearms into the region.
It stated that the surest guarantee for peace, equity and harmonious coexistence in Nigeria was to elect a southerner as President next year.
The group, in a communiqué issued at the end of its national executive council meeting, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Saturday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to work towards ensuring free, fair and credible polls.
The communiqué, which was signed by the National President, NDYM, Amutadi Tega, and National Secretary, Ediagbonya Joshua, read in part, “For the purpose of peace in Nigeria, the NDYM is in total support of the Southern Governors’ Forum and the Middle Belt Forum for the country’s presidency to shift to southern Nigeria.
“NEC calls on all security agencies and indeed the entire citizenry to be very vigilant and proactive against proliferation of firearms in the region as a prelude to the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“In the light of the controversies surrounding the Permanent Voter Card, the NDYM calls on INEC to intensify local sensitisation of the youth of the region/country on electoral processes such as electronic voting.
“While commending the Independent National Electoral Commission for her diligent prosecution of some returning officers in Akwa Ibom State, we urge it to expend the same energy in prosecuting election rigging agents/staff members in its midst.”
The group also condemned the recent bombing of the Kaduna-Abuja train as well as the invasion of the Kaduna airport by terrorists.
The group added in the communiqué, “We condemn the bombing and killing of passengers on the Kaduna-Abuja train as well as the invasion of Kaduna airport by terrorists and urge the Presidency to summon the political will to stem this vicious cycle.
“While commending the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on the seriousness he is giving to the East-West Road, we urge him to extend such a gesture to other core mandates of the ministry.