In a bid to curb violence associated with elections in the country, the Lagos State Government has identified the nation’s youth as key to unlocking free and fair electoral process, saying meaningful engagement of the youth population in formal political mechanisms would end election crisis.
It explained that the youth formal involvement in politics would increase fairness of political processes and guarantee a solid electoral cycle devoid of violence which would serve as a launchpad for the nation’s political trajectory.
As stated, being the future leaders, the youth were better positioned to reenergize the country and work assiduously for her to achieve full potential where a sense of unity and oneness would be restored for the country’s prosperity.
The state’s Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, said that the youth has the potentials of contributing to better and more sustainable policies as well as restoring trust in public institutions if properly engaged and harnessed.
Speaking on Thursday at an event organised by the Ministry to mark Year2020 International Youth Day Celebration at Ikeja Youth Centre, Dawodu revealed that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration was working to ensure the youths are engaged and positioned for the task of nations building.
The drive, he said, birthed the government’s collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA towards giving the representatives of the youth bodies in the state a platform to dialogue on issues affecting them and the young people to contribute to global development in their own right.
On her part, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Yewande Falugba, stressed that the government has decided to focus more on issues affecting the youth taking into cognisance the fact that the youth population constitutes the nation’s greatest assets.
Falugba extolled the vibrancy, energy, dedication, and resourcefulness of the youth population, stressing that if these attributes are meaningfully explored, could translate into a more prosperous society.
On his part, the Executive Director, UNFPA, Dr. Nathaniel Kanel, while acknowledging efforts of the state government on youthful initiatives, affirmed that the government was taking the lead through its various initiatives and intervention programmes to reach out to out-of-school young people in Nigeria.
The Executive Director who was represented by Dr. Esther Shomefu, said that one of the initiatives UNPFA put in place was the setting up of Youth Participatory Platform which has served as a veritable tool for harnessing the potentials of the youth.