Don advocates establishment of crime prevention agency to address youth violence

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By Ade Adeloye , Ibadan

A University don , Prof. Ayobami Hammed, has suggested the creation of a National Crime Prevention Commission to address youth violence across the country.

Prof Hammed , a former acting Director of Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,CEPACS, University of Ibadan, made the case on Thursday while presenting the 546th edition of the premier university’s inaugural lecture series.

According to him, the proposed agency would be saddled with the responsibility of designing, implementing and monitoring a national policy on peace education that is specifically tailored towards equipping the youth with such skills that will help them stay away from tendencies to get involved in violent acts.

“Peace education can help prevent youth violence and radicalism by teaching youth about the advantages of peace and conflict transformation skills,” he said.

In order to achieve a greater success, Prof. Hammed called for the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders including parents, the academia, private sector, media and all tiers of government.

“Government could partner with private organizations and strengthen early warning systems to curb youth violence. Parents, teachers, guardians, and siblings should also be educated on identifying red flags indicating a child is joining a cult or being bullied,” he added.

Titled “We Die Here Today! Youth Violence, Social Dysfunction, and a Counselling Psychologist’s Pathway to Peace”, the lecture expressed concern over the growing reported cases of youth involvement in violence and criminal activities across the country.

More worrisome, it added, was the rate at which the incident of violent acts are recorded among the younger generation of the youth population, noting that the development poses potent existential threat to the socio-political and economic future of the country.

“The aim of this lecture has been to shine light on a problem or a series of problems that seem perennial and to argue for why it is important that we chart a path to an enduring solution. The pursuit of that solution has been my preoccupation for the better part of the last twenty-eight years of my life as an academic on this campus,” the don noted.

The professor of counselling psychology and peace studies also called for quality education, positive role model, economic empowerment, among others as ways through which the society can effectively combat the menace of youth violence.

Apart from his many scholarly interventions, Prof. Hammed has worked with several local and international agencies on peace initiatives within and outside the country.