By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
CONSCIENCE for Human Rights And Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), a Civil Society Organization, has called on the Federal and State Governments to evolve strategies to positively engage young persons in counter terrorism efforts.
The organization made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a One-day Town Hall Meeting At Community Level on “Inspiring Youths For Leadership” for Kogi East Senatorial District at Wisdom Home Hotel, Aiyigba, Dekina Local Government Area.
The meeting was organized by CHRCR in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund with the support of MacArthur Foundation in furtherance of the Senatorial engagement on Youth in leadership campaign at State level in Kogi State.
The Communique signed by Mr Idris Miliki Abdul, Executive Director CHRCR, said it has been noticed that youths constitute a major contributing to the insecurity through their indulgence in violent extremism leading to terrorism.
It said that there was therefore, need to positively engage them in the counter terrorism efforts of government at both national and sub national levels.
The Communique attributed the “JAPA” syndrome to lack of confidence in the system of leadership and governance in Nigeria by young persons and called on government at all levels to critically address the issue.
“There must be a conscious effort at youth empowerment by government and other stakeholders to restore confidence in government and encourage youths towards leadership positions.
“The concept of mentorship for young persons in leadership must be taken seriously by both State and Non State Actors.
“The Government through the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ministry of Information, Kogi State Youth Development Commission, etc, must build knowledge and improve awareness of young persons on leadership and its various processes”, it said.
Participants at the Town Hall Meeting also frowned at the issue of vote buying and selling, saying that citizens must desist from the act as it disenfranchises them of their right to select credible leaders.
“Vote buying reduces you to a commodity that can be cheaply bought and affects development and good governance apart being a criminal offence”, the Communique hinted.
As part of measures to prove youth participation in leadership and governance the CSO and participants called for proper mentorship of the youths by leaders and called for Constitutional amendment to remove the age barriers.
“The constitutional requirement on the age of contest must be amended to remove the Constitutional challenge to young persons’ involvement in in elections leading to good governance”, it said.
The One-day Town Hall Meeting featured among others, presentations and sessions including “Inspiring Youths for Leadership” by Executive Director CHRCR, Mr Idris Miliki Abdul.
It also featured, “Challenges of Youths in Attaining Leadership Positions and the Way Forward” by Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), Mr Hamza Aliyu.
The Town Hall Meeting had leaders from Youth groups, Women groups from the East Senatorial District, Students from Prince Abubakar Audu University (formerly Kogi State University), Anyigba, and Media practitioners in attendance.