The Nigerian Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr. Solomon Selcap Dalung, has charged Nigerian youths on peace – building, saying, no meaningful development would happen in the absence of peace in the society.
Dalung said this in Jos, Plateau state during the opening ceremony of 3-day national peace-building and conflict resolution workshop organised by the federal government for youth leaders across North Central Nigeria.
According to the Minister, “each and every one of us must work deliberately to ensure sustainable peace in our great country, Nigeria, to enable us realise our dream of becoming a developed country in the nearest future”.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Adesola Olusade, the Minister charged the youths on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, urging them to build trust and confidence to bring about peace and resolution of any conflict in the society.
“The Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism is relatively new to many of us, this is the more reason why the Federal Ministry of Youths Development is doing everything possible to expose and encourage our youth to embrace it as the appropriate method of settling conflict.
“Sustainable development cannot take place in atmosphere of chaos and violence, we must give peace a chance for us to benefit from our collective struggle which brought this democratic dispensation”, the Minister added.
On his part, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, identified inadequate parental care, religious fanaticism, cult activities, drug abuse, unemployment, political manipulations, cyber crime, inter and intra communal conflicts, poor education and increase rate of school drop out, amongst others, as epidemics eating up the Nigerian youth.
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Rufus Bature, said the APC led government was committed to “giving the youth its place of relevance in the nation, so they could contribute their own quota to national development”.
In his goodwill message, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, attributed insecurity, militancy, robbery political thuggery, criminality, financial crimes and terrorism to the rate of unemployment in the country.
He said, “every year, over 900,000 Nigerian youths graduate from both secondary and tertiary institutions. Out of this number, according to a United Nations report, less than 10% of these youths have access to gainful employment”, adding that the remaining percent were responsible for some social vices in the society.
Akoh urged the federal government to continue the workshop on peace-building across the country, “so as to assist in educating the youths on the need to promote the culture of peace and the act of non violence. This will help in demystifying peace-building by portraying it as the responsibility of every individual, irrespective of tribe, religion, gender, profession or level of education”.
The Chairman of Plateau State Traditional Council and the Gbom Gwom Jos, His Royal Majesty, Chief Jacob Buba Gyang, on his part, urged the youths to shun inter tribal and religious conflicts, stressing that it was golden for youths to learn how to live together, despite differences.
The Monarch said Nigeria had existed for over 100 years with its many tribal nationalities managing and tolerating each other, adding that the youths should emulate such unity in diversity.