Two days ago being 1 December 2023, youths and stakeholders in Umuaka Municipal Council gathered in a workshop titled Red Card to Political Violence which was held in the community. Participants at the program comprising both male and female youths were drawn from each community in Umuaka courtesy of her president-general. During the program, several issues affecting the common interest of democracy and the community were discussed. The program had two facilitators who took time to present their papers in a manner which was deeply interactive.
A one-time commissioner in the state, Chief Louis Duru who was one of the facilitators during the workshop, presented a paper titled, Say No to Electoral and Political Violence. In the paper, he advised the youths to always choose good over evil and make the right political moves and support the spirit of true democracy. He further wondered why politicians are always in the habit of using the children of the poor to cause electoral violence. He blamed the youths who present themselves as pawns and willing tools to deface democracy in the society. The commissioner seriously regretted that Nigeria version of modern day democracy is characterized with electoral violence and irregularities.
Mr Callistus Osunwa, a publisher, author and administrator was another facilitator who presented a paper during the workshop. In his paper titled, Red Card to Political Violence; (Demerits of Violence in Politics), took time to define political violence and listed types of political violence confronting the development and practice of democracy in Nigeria. He described corruption as the mother of political violence and accused stakeholders as the perpetrators of the evil of political violence in the society.
At the end of each lecture, the participants were given an opportunity to ask questions and the facilitators also responded with the most appropriate answers to their questions.
While commending the organizers of the program, Mr Chibuike Duruoha, a participant from Uba community expressed his satisfaction on the lectures during the event. He counted himself lucky to have taken part in the workshop.
Another participant during the event who did not want her name mentioned also took time to thank Fix Politics, Women’s Crisis Centre and Umuaka Times for the program. She expressed so much happiness that both males and females were in attendance during the program. She appealed to the organizers to remember her when next such an event would hold.
Before the end of the workshop, each participant went out and took a group photograph; each clutching a piece of paper tagged Red Card. From Umuaka Times findings, the Red Card to Political Violence workshop organized by Fix Politics, Women’s Crisis Centre and Umuaka Times was indeed an intellectual feast which every participant benefitted immensely from.