–Enumerates available opportunity
Lagos youths have been urged to harness available networks to engender a more peaceful society, and help fast track viable developments across the state through evolvement of societal resilience post COVID-19.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu made this appeal at a Day Youth Dialogue on Peace and Conflict Resolution held at Folarin Coker clinic hall Alausa.
Dawodu task the youth to explore the avenue of constructive dialogue and developmental ventures instead of exhibiting restive tendencies.
He also raised some posers regarding the resolve of youths going forward.
“Can the Lagos Youth play the pivotal role in conflict transformation and reconciliation and stand out like their counterparts across the world”?
The few numbers of youth’s who maintained social distance directive all through the programme answered in affirmative and pledged their resolve to thirst for knowledge and jointly evolve a peaceful world.
The Commissioner also hinted further that Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda encapsulate better pact with the youths, as many windows of opportunities abound for them to leverage on and become independent with little or no stress.
He later charged the youth to channel their energies into resourceful task and diversify by learning new skills that will make them have better footings in future.
“We felt a need to educate our youths to channel their anger to productive…rather than just go out there killing, fighting and stabbing,maiming each other or looting and stealing.
“There will always be conflicts but it doesn’t mean you take it further and be violent about it, what we are trying to engage them with is that whatever conflict they have should not end in violence. It can be peacefully resolved.
“When conflict end in violence or war, it is the youths that are sent out there to join the Army, fight war and die. It is better you find a way to resolve the conflict.
He noted that there are various Ministries at the state level,directly doing something unique about the development of a better Lagos Youths namely;Ministry of Women and Poverty Alleviation,Ministry of Agriculture,Wealth Creation and more.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs Yewande Falugba, who played host to all present at the event stressed the need for a paradigm shift of the youths mindset from violent manner of airing their views to well documented engagement with workable solutions to issues.
According to her youths must embrace none violent mechanism in addressing issues.
“Available Information need be harnessed for them to fare better in the society. In other climes Youths lead peace building efforts, we also need to address Human rights violations.
Peace building community’s should also leverage on available networks to decisively address causative agents of conflict early.
Citing the shift occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic the P S called for the initiation of Trauma healing programmes to address post COVID-19 negative trends.
The Guest Speaker, Engr. Adekunle Olayinka, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwoolu on DAWN Commission Matters expose the basic needs of societies in an attempt to reorganize and forge a virile society post COVID-19 pandemics.
Speaking on the theme:Challenges of COVID-19 the role of youths in conflict resolution
Adekunle noted that,”there are evident Social fractures which emanates due to COVID-19 pandemics and includes; social inequality, political exclusion, unemployment, poverty and if not well handled most times leads to conflicts.
We must plan for extensive post conflict issues resolution support, adequate funding of strategic sectors that can drive the economy and further engender concerted promotion of systemic change.
Government should also come up with more policies that helps the youths to exhibit their resourceful competences and deliberate create home grown economies that can drive productivity and virile commerce and industry amongst the people owing to their teeming numbers and strength taking cue from Lagos State.
He however urged youths to make themselves available and be abreast of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda drive while they remain their brother’s keeper.
The Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development to Governor Sanwoolu, Mr. Akanbi-Ade Saheed while speaking with newsmen noted that as a youth he believes in constructive engagement of the powers that be for better gains for the youths and more wins are on the way for the youths in Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s administration going forward.
He task the youths not to take up the gauntlet and champion violence but rather engage government with well thought out ideas and solutions, adding it is better they tell the government how best issues confronting the youths could be tackled rather than government doing the opposite.
The representatives of the Lagos youths who are the panelists at the dialogue session, all adduced how best to ensure peaceful resolution of conflicts urging the youths to tone down on violence while some notes that most times adults are the ones fueling the conflicts which the youths executes in the society, having been denied inclusion in the system.
Miss Comfort Olafare member of the Nigerian Youth Parliament representing Lagos West,who is also Chairman Media committee, canvassed for better involvement of youths in discursive session to tackle the issue.
Chart a course for peace to aid development in all ramifications. She noted that those that consider conflict will resolve for peace. “To give peace you must first have peace”.
Mr Shasanya from the Lagos Youth Council noted that conflict is inevitable where youths have interest. He cited what is to be done.
They need more recognition, Youths agitations to government must be documented offering solution to stop conflicts.
Listening ears needed to be accorded to them once youths interest is in focus.
The Moderator Dr. Seriki Muritala, Member Nigerian Youth Parliament, Representing Lagos East Senatorial District cited existing Mentorship platform for youths,
LSTF grant which targets the youths, Ibile Academy and more as some of the positive avenues through which the Lagos State Government is getting across to the youths.
The Senior Special Assistant on Social Development Princess Busola Akeredolu was also present.