The Lagos State Government has advised youths to leverage on non-violence conflict resolution strategy, saying adopting initiatives geared at entrenching peace and mutual understanding breeds needed future leaders who could pilot the nation’s affair without hitches.
Adopting the strategy, it said, would propel the youths toward productive activities as pivotal actors in the achievement of peace and sustainable development across the country.
As stated, non-violence conflict resolution would allow citizens thrive economically, socially and politically by addressing the root causes of violence and other hindrances to peaceful coexistence.
The state’s Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, said that the call became imperative after socio-economic impact occasioned by outbreak of coronavirus left negative imprints in daily affairs of youths who had been battling with issues of unemployment and underemployment.
Speaking during a virtual youth dialogue on peace and conflict resolution organised by his ministry, Dawodu hinted that the twin effect of coronavirus and unemployment on psyche of youths necessitated the dialogue as part of measures to find lasting solutions to what may trigger conflict in the society.
According to him, in as much as conflict as a form of human character cannot be wished away, it is of utmost importance to address and resolve conflicting issues affeting youths effectively before they escalate into violence, abuse or war.
“The role of youths as pivotal actors in the achievement of peace and sustainable development cannot be over emphasised, this is because the youth have the creativity, potential and capacity to make change happen,” he said.
The Commissioner who noted that young people are being brainwashed, used as tools of violence and left with their futures disjointed, enjoined participants to resist urge and channel their energy into leading their community to non-violence reconciliation and set standards for new ways to engage in dialogue on issues affecting youths emancipation.
He noted that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration had been providing avenues for youths engagement across the state while providing solid networking opportunities for peace building and conflicts and violence prevention.
In her address, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Yewande Falugba, noted that the youths possess strong potential to drive change at all levels and can be heroes of strong positive action if their energies were channelled into right causes.
She noted that though youths may be at the centre of negative security related issues, large numbers of them are making a positive impact in the society.
She, however, urged youths to embrace non-violence methods in addressing whatever maybe confronting them in the post COVID-19 era and channel their energy into making good use of available technological advancement.