Ahead of next month’s election, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has advised the youths to shun electoral fraud and use their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to vote for credible leaders with the ability to contribute to sustainable development, peace and economic prosperity.
Senator Diri gave the advice while addressing youths during a programme tagged, “Prosperity Youths Day 2023”, at the Ecumenical Centre in Igbogene.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said the governor described the PVC as a tool to empower voters and that what the youth wanted was the card, which he said to be more powerful than the AK-47 rifle.
He said: “The PVC is your AK-47. You do not need any gun or machete to intimidate anyone. Bayelsa youths are not violent, but intelligent and productive.
“Elections are a very serious business of choosing leaders that will lead them towards prosperity, development and growth.”
The state helmsman also urged young people to avoid drug addiction and all acts of violence before, during and after the elections and stressed the need for them to look into the various policies and programs of the government aimed at strengthening their capacities.
“Do not allow politicians to use you as cannon fodders to advance their selfish political interest. They tell you lies and give you peanuts to harass and intimidate other politicians contesting with them.
“Always believe in God and yourselves. Shun drug abuse and cultism. What God has for you, nobody can take it away.”
He also appealed to anyone involved in kidnapping and other criminal activities to have a change of heart as the government would not condone any breach of the peace and stability of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the Prosperity Youth Movement, Comrade Doubara Kumokou expressed appreciation to the governor for identifying with the youths of the state by putting in place various empowerment programmes.
Comrade Kumokou saluted the developmental strides of the Prosperity Government, particularly in the construction of road infrastructure as well as providing a peaceful environment for businesses to thrive.
The highpoint of the programme was the presentation by the youths of a Peace and Security Award to the governor.
Senator Diri also unveiled two musical albums and presented a vehicle each to three youths representing the three senatorial districts and one to a non-indigene.
The beneficiaries are Kalango Preye (Bayelsa Central Senatorial District), Alakija Francis-Oyinbrakemi (Bayelsa West), Goodluck Monday (Bayelsa East) and Ikem Chibuzor (non-indigene).