A group, Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), has advised against violent protests and raising of unnecessary alarms by youths as the country celebrates her Democracy Day on Saturday.
The Director General, CYMS, Mr Obinna Nwaka, gave the advice in a statement made available to the press on Friday in Abuja.
He described practices such as violence and raising of unnecessary alarm as undemocratic practices.
Nwaka said the struggle by Nigerians to achieve democracy gave it a special value and placed responsibility on all to support democratic process.
He said youths’ potentials were underutilised in the country, and stressed the need for proper engagement, giving sense of belonging and empowering them to make them enjoy the benefits of democracy.
“It is our view as a youth-based organisation that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the current security challenges in the country are addressed to enable development to thrive in Nigeria.
“We salute President Muhammadu Buhari for the giant strides recorded so far, especially in area of infrastructure.
“We urge him to please do more, especially in the aspect of security, job creation and youths inclusion in governance,” he said.
Nwaka noted that some of the country’s challenges ranging from economic development to insecurity as seen in recent times were major concerns to the group.
He however said that the challenges should not lead to more problems, but should be effectively contained.
The director general added that the concern of CYMS was to see a process of doing things in Nigeria that was free, fair and inclusive.
“We are particularly keen to see greater participation in politics by under-represented groups, including women, young people and people with disabilities.
“It is with great pleasure that I join Nigerians all over the world in the commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day.
“In Nigeria, as in so many other countries, the right of all citizens to enjoy equal participation in the democratic process was achieved after considerable struggle and suffering.
“We remember and celebrate all those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today,” he said.
He said CYMS would continue to offer strong support to the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) and welcome the technical improvements it introduced in the electoral processe.
“We encourage government and legislators to work with INEC to achieve further improvements at least six months before the elections, in line with ECOWAS protocol.
“Democracy is not only about the voting process. It also requires a strong and ongoing commitment from political actors to uphold the democratic ideal.
“We have noted with concern, recent reports of violence, intimidation and corruption, both within parties and between parties.
“We take advantage of this national celebration of democracy to urge all political parties to maintain Nigerian and international norms and support a credible process.
“It’s is the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freely express their will now and in the forthcoming elections,” he said.
Nwaka, however, appealed to Nigerians to use this year’s democracy day celebration to sue for peace and promote the unity of the country.