Listen To The Youths, Global Peace Foundation Tells FG

A US based International Organisation, Global Peace Foundation has called on the Federal Government to listen to the youth to fastract peace building.

According to Global Peace Foundation, millions of young people live in fragile and conflict affected contexts, calling on government to ensure that they are involved in peace mediation.

Speaking during a Joint Youth Peace Initiative Programme tagged: “Mainstreaming Youths Voices Into Peace Building Process Through Dialogue and Listening, organised by Global Peace Foundation held at Merit House on Tuesday, the country director of Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, Rev John Joseph Hayab, said the youths are finding it difficult to access funds meant for their empowerment.

Hayab, challenged the government at all levels to be honest with the youths.

“When governments produce jingles and advertise a programme that the youths cannot access, the government makes the youth and people not to trust her and its programs,” Hayab said, urging the government to listen to the youths.

“I wish to conclude by counselling the Nigerian youths to take advantage of opportunities that may be available both at the Federal, States, Local Government levels and in some of the private sectors in this current dispensation for youth empowerment, ” Hayab said.

According to him, over the past decade, the involvement of young people – particularly young men, in violence and extremist groups has led many to paint the youth generally as a threat to global security and stability.

“However, research demonstrates that the youth who participate actively in violence are merely a marginal fraction, while the majority of youth – despite the injustices, deprivations and abuse they suffer from are not violent and do not participate in violence.

“To tackle the identified phenomenon, we need the involvement of young people, particularly marginalized youth in peacebuilding. Listening to voices of the youth and dialoging with them, among others, could provide avenues for youth’s inclusion finding the solution to instability in society and, in so doing, contribute to the prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism in society. For instance, one of the areas Nigeria has not done well for the youths is by failing to listen to the concerns and attending to the suffering of the teeming youth, who are affected by a melting economy, leading to lack of employment even after struggling to acquire an education or skill,” Hayab added.

Hayab said Nigerian youths are hardworking, highly gifted and talented adding that they have at all times excelled in diverse undertakings despite the limited support the youth get from the society they come from.

“Therefore, the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria (GPFN) in her quest to contribute her quota to the ongoing action to sustain peace and deal with the many security challenges facing Nigeria is working with youth groups in Abuja and environs to mainstream their voices in peacebuilding.

“Permit me to say that throughout the world, millions of young people live in fragile and conflict affected contexts. Manifestly, youth are among the most affected by the multiple forms of violence – from political, gangsterism to organized crime and terrorist attacks – plaguing countries and communities, bearing enormous and long-lasting human, social and economic costs.
Over the past decade, the involvement of young people – particularly young men, in violence and extremist groups has led many to paint the youth generally as a threat to global security and stability. However, research demonstrates that the youth who participate actively in violence are merely a marginal fraction, while the majority of youth – despite the injustices, deprivations and abuse they suffer from are not violent and do not participate in violence.

“To tackle the identified phenomenon, we need the involvement of young people, particularly marginalized youth in peacebuilding. Listening to voices of the youth and dialoging with them, among others, could provide avenues for youth’s inclusion finding the solution to instability in society and, in so doing, contribute to the prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism in society. For instance, one of the areas Nigeria has not done well for the youths is by failing to listen to the concerns and attending to the suffering of the teeming youth, who are affected by a melting economy, leading to lack of employment even after struggling to acquire an education or skill.

“Our leaders and elders, it appears, prefer to exploit the youths by ordering them about or startling them with wise sayings or adages that may not be relevant in this day and age. It is in the light of the foregoing that the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria launched a youth program as pilot in Garki and Kuje communities in Abuja, believing that the engagement, participation, leadership and contribution of the youth is essential for a more sustainable, peaceful and inclusive society.

“Accordingly, GPFN undertakes to reinforce the youths to team up for peace. It is our firm belief that Nigeria can only resolve its many Insecurity and economic challenges through the active participation of young Nigerians in decision making and engaging the youth in practically viable activities. Every well-meaning Nigerian recognizes that the youths can compete with youths of every nation all over the world. However, what the Nigerian youth requires is that the nation’s leaders must learn to listen to them and give them leeway and a chance to contribute their quota.
GPFN, therefore, has invited you all to this meeting to present what we have heard from the youths of Kuje and Garki Abuja on what and how they think about the Nigeria of their dream.

“Our organization have been working with these selected young men and young girls in their respective communities for over three months now before this joint meeting. All the sessions were about listening to the youth and allowing them to dialogue between themselves. Consequently, this gathering is to afford the youth the privilege of hearing from some senior persons and organizations knowledgeable about the issues that interest them which can of benefit to them to become more useful and productive.

“For the youths, I want to challenge you to be the vanguard of peace, not thugs. I also appeal to you to say “no to drug abuse.” Drugs can destroy your future and render you useless. Those who mislead you to go into drugs only do that to steal your joyful and fruitful future. Every one of you is endowed with talents that only need some touching to bring out your ingenuity as numerous abilities abound in you and with a good vision and mentoring, you could go places,” Hayab added.

Also speaking, former Director General, National Sport Commission, Dr Amos Adamu said if violence is reduce, the number of people to die in the country will be reduced.

“Everyone need peace. We need peace in our homes. Once there is no peace, you can’t enjoy your home,” Adamu said stating that the youths are heros and must share the message of peace.

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