THE National Youth Council of Ogoni People (NYCOP) has advised Ogoni youths to shun violence in the upcoming March 18 gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Rivers.
The council advised against killing, ballot box snatching and every criminal activity that would undermine the peaceful conduct of the polls.
The group gave the advice on Tuesday in a communique issued to newsmen in Port Harcourt by its National President, Mr Matthew Dighi, and Mr Kingston Menele, Co-President of NYCOP.
The group said in a communique reached in a meeting at Bori, Ogoni Rivers, that the NYCOP is not a political group and had not within her mandate endorsed any preferred candidate on any particular political platform in the upcoming election.
The communique said that the group had at no time agreed in any of their meeting to compel the Ogoni people to vote for any preferred candidate or openly canvas for any candidate in the 2023 general election in Rivers.
The group urged all contestants of the poll to be agents of peaceful election in Ogoni and the state at large.
The group also called on all eligible voters to go out enmasse and vote the candidates of their choice.
The communique said that NYCOP remained the custodian of Ogoni youths and have equal respect for all governorship candidates in the state, and therefore, distanced itself from a purported endorsement of any governorship candidate.
The group urged all sons and daughters of Ogoni to shun been used as agents of political violence before, during and after the elections.
The group also advised all electoral stakeholders in Ogoni to desist from rigging and causing trouble in Ogoni land, saying that they will be resisted.
NYCOP said it believed and stand to enforce all claims in the Ogoni Bill of Rights in line with the United Nations declaration of Rights of all indigenous Peoples, wishing all candidates good luck and hitch-free election. (NAN)