El-Rufai to NYSC members: Nigeria can’t afford another civil war

EMERGENCY DIGEST- Nigeria cannot afford a repeat of the 1967 civil war, which tore her fabrics, Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, cautioned yesterday.

Consequently, the governor admonished youths to distance themselves from fanning embers of violence and war in the country.

Governor el-Rufai, who gave the warning while speaking to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in Kaduna, said those among them who would be participating in the conduct of the 2023 general elections should avoid being used to rig elections.

While addressing the closing ceremony of the orientation course organized for members of 2022 Batch B (Stream 2) NYSC corps members posted to Kaduna State, the governor, who was represented by the  acting governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said the civil war was a needless savagery that Nigeria could not afford to repeat.

He said:  “The youth must remember that the NYSC came into being after the civil war that that destroyed every fabric of the Nigerian state. The war was a needless savagery that we cannot afford to repeat.

“Nigerian youths must, therefore, distance themselves from fanning the embers of violence and war in Nigeria. As a country, we must avoid a repeat of that dark part of our history. And Nigerian youths must refuse to be ready tools for war mongers.

“My dear valuable corps members, I believe you have the capacity to defend what is good for our dear country and what shall build a united Nigeria and you shall not fail to do what is right for your dear country. After all, the major objective of establishing the NYSC is to promote Nigeria’s unity and enhance development.

“The national youth service is a reflection of the hope that we have placed on our young graduates as touch bearers of a greater Nigeria. You must prove to us that this is not a misplaced hope.

”We expect you to be innovative, industrious and consistently demonstrate acts of tolerance, open mindedness and perseverance in all that you do.”

Governor El-Rufai said as representatives of the youths who were the majority in Nigeria, the corps members must shun corruption during the polls and be responsible citizens who would be said to have risen to the occasion when they were most needed.

“I am highly impressed that the youths constitute 71% of the 12 million fresh applicants for Permanent Voter’s Card in the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration exercise.

”We, therefore, expect more youths’ participation in the 2023 general elections and I hope this participation will be positive and constructive, as opposed to previous activities of disruption, violence and  ballot box snatching and other illegal activities.

“The February 2023 general elections will be requiring services of the Corps members, many of you will be engaged as presiding officers at the election.

”You must remember that you shall be representing the youths during that assignment. Let it not be said of you that, the youths that manned the polling units for INEC during the elections were not current or were corrupt and they assisted to mar the popular will of the electorate.

”You must, therefore, be responsible citizens who rose to the occasion when they were most needed,” he said.

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