Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, has sounded a note of caution to youths in Edo State against allowing themselves to be used by desperate politicians to cause violence during the July 14 governorship election.
Anenih urged the youths to shun all forms of electoral malpractice and violence, even as he warned that adequate security personnel would be on ground in the State to ensure that the election was not disrupted.
He spoke at the PDP governorship rallies in Edo North Senatorial District in Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Government and Edo Central Senatorial District in Uromi, headquarters of Esan Northeast Local Government on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Anenih called on parents to counsel their wards/children to resist attempts to lure them into perpetrate acts of violence that could undermine the integrity of the governorship poll.
He said in Igarra, “I want to appeal to the youths, because I have children in my house, not to allow themselves to be used by desperate politicians for violence.
“Parents who are here, please, inform the ones that are not here that the youths should not be used or allowed to create violence in Edo State. Please, don’t allow them to use your youths and the youths that are here for malpractices on election day.
“I want to assure you that on the election day, there would be adequate security. Snatching of ballot boxes in Akoko Edo in the rerun election in 2009 when over 50 AK-47 rifles were recovered from ACN youths or the rerun election into Etsako Central House of Assembly seat and those experiences we had that time will not be repeated on July 14”.
Anenih also announced that President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP governors, the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and senators will grace a rally slated for end of June ahead of the July 14 governorship poll.
Both occasions were attended by thousands of party members, supporters and leaders, including the runner-up in the party’s governorship primaries, Barrister Kenneth Imasuangbon, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Ogiadomhe, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemhemen and the Director General of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Senator Odion Ugbesia.
Imasuangbon said he was at the rally to support the party’s flag-bearer in the July 14 poll, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (retd), stressing that he did not support Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s second term bid as speculated in some quarters.