Lagos youths have been urged to harness available networks to engender a more peaceful society, and help fast track viable developments across the state through evolvement of societal resilience post COVID-19.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu made this appeal at a Day Youth Dialogue on Peace and Conflict Resolution held at Folarin Coker Clinic Hall, Alausa.
Dawodu tasked the youth to explore the avenue for constructive dialogue and developmental ventures instead of exhibiting restive tendencies.
He also raised some posers regarding the resolve of youths going forward.
“Can the Lagos youth play the pivotal role in conflict transformation and reconciliation and stand out like their counterparts across the world?
The few numbers of youths who maintained social distance directive all through the programme answered in affirmative and pledged their resolve to thirst for knowledge and jointly evolve a peaceful world.
The Commissioner also hinted further that Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda encapsulate better pact with the youths, as many windows of opportunities abound for them to leverage on and become independent with little or no stress.
He charged the youth to channel their energies into resourceful task and diversify by learning new skills that will make them have better footings in future.
“We felt a need to educate our youths to channel their anger to productive…rather than just go out there killing, fighting and stabbing,maiming each other or looting and stealing.
“There will always be conflicts but it doesn’t mean you take it further and be violent about it, what we are trying to engage them with is that whatever conflict they have should not end in violence. It can be peacefully resolved.
“When conflict end in violence or war, it is the youths that are sent out there to join the Army, fight war and die. It is better you find a way to resolve the conflict,” the Commissioner said.
He noted that there are various ministries at the state level, directly doing something unique about the development of a better Lagos youth namely: the Ministry of Women and Poverty Alleviation, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Wealth Creation and more.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs Yewande Falugba, who played host to all present at the event stressed the need for a paradigm shift of the youths mindset from violent manner of airing their views to well documented engagement with workable solutions to issues.
According to her youths must embrace non- violent mechanism in addressing issues.
“Available information need be harnessed for them to fare better in the society. In other climes Youths lead peace building efforts, we also need to address Human rights violations.
“Peace building community’s should also leverage on available networks to decisively address causative agents of conflict early,” he said.
The Guest Speaker, Engr. Adekunle Olayinka, Special Adviser to Governor Sanwoolu on DAWN Commission Matters, exposed the basic needs of societies in an attempt to reorganize and forge a virile society post COVID-19 pandemics.
Speaking on the theme: Challenges of COVID-19; the role of youths in conflict resolution, Adekunle noted that, “there are evident social fractures which emanates due to COVID-19 pandemics and includes: social inequality, political exclusion, unemployment, poverty and if not well handled most times leads to conflicts.
“We must plan for extensive post conflict issues resolution support, adequate funding of strategic sectors that can drive the economy and further engender concerted promotion of systemic change.
“Government should also come up with more policies that help the youths to exhibit their resourceful competence and create home grown economies that can drive productivity and virile commerce and industry amongst the people owing to their teeming numbers and strength taking cue from Lagos State”.
He however urged youths to make themselves available and be abreast of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda drive while they remain their brother’s keeper.
The Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development to Governor Sanwoolu, Mr. Akanbi-Ade Saheed while speaking with newsmen noted that as a youth, he believes in constructive engagement of the powers that be for better gains for the youths and more wins are on the way for the youths in Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s administration going forward.
He task the youths not to take up the gauntlet and champion violence but rather engage government with well thought out ideas and solutions, adding it is better they tell the government how best issues confronting the youths could be tackled rather than government doing the opposite.