The Oasis Reporters
February 4, 2019
By Mike Odeh James, Kaduna
As Nigeria braces up to vote in the February 16 and March 2 polls , a Non-Governmental Organization, Life Challenge Intervention Outreach (LCIO) on February 2, 2019 convened a one day seminar meant to sensitize young men and women on the dangers of violence , drug use and voter apathy in the North and Nigeria .
The seminar which was held in Regview Hotel Television, Kaduna South also sought to warn the youths against being used as thugs, purveyors of violence and electoral fraud by politicians .
The event also featured participants from other groups like the Young African Leadership Initiative, (YALI) , Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiatives(Si4dev) .
In his welcome address, the Convener and founder of LCIO, Mr. Ejikeme McBishops Ogueji said there was the need to remind the youths to convert their energy into productive pursuit by promoting a violence free election during the forthcoming poll to promote growth and development of the country.
According to Mr. Ejikeme McBishops Ogueji, the programme was organised to sensitise the youths on how to behave during the polls and how to guard against being tools in the hands of politicians at this electioneering period to cause violence in the society.
He further posited that, LCIO has been focused on reaching out to young people and using all scientific methods to discourage them from the use and abuse of drugs which he added as one of the things politicians make available in large quantities at every electioneering period to entrap them”.
“We have discovered that there is a relationship between drugs and violence, when you are under the influence of drugs your decisions would be affected by making one to be irrational in terms of choice making particularly during election”.
“We are also creating massive awareness on drug use and abuse especially during this election period so that our society will not be impacted negatively.
“At the end of the day we intend to achieve a situation where there would be a peaceful election with no trace or incidence of violence”.
He attributed the menace of drug use and abuse to poverty and unemployment which make the youths to be vulnerable to politicians who give them meagre amount to perpetrate evil”.
The convener of the program also asserted that to curb the dreaded pathology in the society, all hands must be on deck as he called on government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders to create employment to the teeming youths for them to be independent.
“We are getting support from the US government and that has helped us facilitate some of our programmes and outreaches which have started yielding results
“We have an empowerment programme in which after reaching out to them, we also empower and rehabilitate a lot of them who have been recovering via our programmes, and “they have stopped using drugs”.
“Some of them who have been responding positively, we try to engage them positively to become productive elements of their communities
“A lot of them are learning skills, some of them who have interest in going back to school have been helped to register for WAEC or NECO while assisting them financially so that they can be able to go back to school
“One thing that is necessary after recovery is for them to properly reintegrate into the society “.
McBishop said life challenge intervention outreach is partnering other organisations such as the media, YALI, creative arts and writers association, interfaith mediation, drug free ambassadors, mental health facilities amongst others toward achieving the desired objectives.
One of the participant and a multimedia journalist , Daniel Karl Marx raised the stakes higher when he urged them not to be tired of voting adding that their votes could tilt the balance
Mr.Karl Marx then gave a rendition titled Power of One Vote :
(Read Daniel Marx Rendition )
“In 1800 – Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the House of Representatives after a tie in the Electoral College.
In 1824 – Andrew Jackson won the presidential popular vote but lost by one vote in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams after an Electoral College deadlock.
In 1845 – The U.S. Senate passed the convention annexing Texas by two votes (27/25).
In 1846 – President Polk’s request for a Declaration of War against Mexico passed by one vote.
In 1867 – The Alaska purchase was ratified in the Senate by two votes: 37-2, paving the way for future statehood.
In 1868 – President Andrew Johnson was Impeached but not convicted because he
was one vote shy of the necessary two thirds required”.