Gyang Bere, Jos
The Executive Director of Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), Amb Melvin Ejeh, said Nigerian youths will continue to engage government in a constructive manner towards tackling the myriad of challenges that are bedevilling the country.
He lamented how hoodlums hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests across the country to loot and destroyed government and private properties.
Amb. Ejeh stated this on Wednesday during a Plateau Youth Dialogue, with a theme, towards a peaceful and prosperous Plateau, organized by Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) and The Plateau Intelligentsia Development Initiative, held in Jos, Plateau State.
He said the programme which was organized as a result of the reaction to the #EndSARS protests that was hijacked by hoodlums, was to encourage youths in the country to engage government in a peaceful means in addressing security challenges and demand for good governance.
“We should continue to engage government constructively in pursuing demands for good security and good governance. As youths, we have to embrace peace and think of how to participate in decision making through peaceful means, we must not go the way of violence.
“Until Nigeria is peaceful, we can’t get the require leadership that the country need, therefore destroying government and private properties is not the way to go.”
Dr Daniel Meshak of Plateau Intelligentsia Development Initiative said the event aimed at bringing young people together to chart a way forward for the growth and development of the state.
Meshak explained that the event also provides a platform for youths to express their views on issues that have over time truncated peaceful coexistence in the state.
“As young people, we are here to express ourselves on issues affecting us; this is an opportunity for us to express our views about issues of good governance, peace and what have you.
“At the end of this gathering, we will gather our thoughts together and send it to policymakers for necessary action,” he said
Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adams University of Technology, Yola, Dr Chris Kwaja, who presented a paper “On Governance and peace in Nigeria: Lessons and Priorities Plateau State”, said hate and politics of bitterness have become so deeply entrenched in the psychic of many youths in ways that make their involvement in peacebuilding suspect and difficult.
“The involvement of youth in a winner-take-all politics, coupled with a political culture that is increasingly violent, represents the key enablers of intolerance.
“The absence of a clear and strong sense of nationhood accounts the inability of the youths to galvanise and mobilise themselves as a cohesive force in the peace and good governance process.”
Also, Dr Kingsley Madueke of the University of Jos spoke on Understanding the rudiments of peace and social prosperity and Mallam Sani Suleiman, Deputy Chief of Party, Mercy Corps presented a paper titled, “The role of state and non-state actors on a peaceful society.”