Thousands of students from the Niger Delta region, on Saturday, marched through major roads in Port Harcourt to sensitise youths to the evil of cultism, electoral violence, vandalism and other social vices in the area and the country at large.
The students, who gathered under the aegis of the Niger Delta Students Union Government, explained the peace walk ahead of the February 16 and March 2 general elections.
The walk began around 7.30am from the Isaac Boro Park through Ikwerre Road and ended at the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission in Port Harcourt.
Some of the students displayed placards with inscriptions like, ‘Vote, not fight’, ‘Election is not do or die’, and ‘Say no to violence, it has no benefits’.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the rally, the National President, NIDSUG, Ifon Daniel, said the body was concerned about the peace and unity of the region and the entire country.
Daniel frowned on the activities of some unscrupulous persons, who were getting ready to unleash violence and other unlawful acts during the elections.
He noted that Nigeria remained one unified entity that must not be divided for political and selfish reasons.
The student union leader said, “In view of the forthcoming general elections, as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, we decided to embark on this march to sensitise the people, especially the youth, to the need to shun cultism, electoral violence and other social vices.
“As the elections approach, we are calling on the people of the Niger Delta and the entire Nigeria to contribute towards the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections.
“Violent-free elections remain a cardinal point to the group. We have vowed to continue with the campaign against electoral violence and for free, fair and credible elections.”
Daniel, however, urged the new board of the NDDC to uphold peace and innovative projects that would directly or indirectly lead to students and youths capacity development.
The student leader maintained that such measure would in turn reduce crime and unemployment rate in the region, even as he congratulated the new board members of the commission on their appointment.
He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing illustrious Niger Delta sons to manage the affairs of the NDCC for the purpose of development.