State Gubernatorial Candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Mr Labaran Maku, Nasarawa , has urged Nigerian students to shun violence before, during and after the February general elections.
Maku made the appeal on Sunday while addressing students at St Michael the Arch-Angel’s Chaplaincy, Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
He expressed concern over the increasing rate of violence in the country.
He blamed the spate of violence on bad influence and orientation the youths get from mass media, social media and internet, among others.
He said in the last 150 years when there was no television, radio, newspapers, internet, satellite and other tolls of communication, even if there is violence in other communities; they were not transmitted to people in other communities.
“But with the advent of mass media and other means of communication so many negative things are being transferred to the youths,” he said.
He observed that because some youths lack the mental capacity to absorb and understand messages being transmitted in the media, most youths tend to believe and adopt those negative vices as ways of life.
He also advised the media to minimise the rate of publicity being given to criminals and terrorist groups and organisations, adding that “the publicity tends to encourage them’’.
“What is going on is that whenever a criminal or terrorist has done something, the media stops everything they are doing to publicise it.
“That has a way of affecting the psyche of the youths negatively, hence the need to reduce publicising attacks by terrorists and other criminal activities.’’
He challenged the media to make serious publicity to the efforts being made by the government, communities and religious leaders, and other stakeholders in discouraging vices in the society.
He promised to carry all tribes and religions along, and bring his experience and knowledge into play to offer solutions to the crisis in the state.
Also, Jake Otonko, the Parish Priest of the church urged the youths not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs and shun examination malpractice and all vices.
He, therefore, advised all students to ensure that they collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), saying that “nobody would be allowed to vote without the PVC’’.