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Youths identify factors militating against peace building

Youths in Rivers state have identified various factors coming between them and their desires to become ambassadors of peace in the country.

In a dialogue session organized by Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, to commemorate the International Youths Day which was celebrated world–wide last Saturday, representatives of various youth organizations agreed that economic factors, marginalization, stealing of public funds meant to develop the country and cater for the needs of young people were some of the factors that generated conflict between society and young people.

During the brain-storming session, the youths’ representatives also identified other factors as lack of empowerment and employment for young people, lack of tolerance for youths, poor education, religious intolerance among youths, nepotism, favouritism, and tribalism.

The youths pointed out that these factors, among others had always put young at war paths with society which they always wanted to fight back.

Enumerating factors that could help to bring about youth participation in peace-building in the country, the youths said that young people must be meaningfully engaged in legitimate activities, given enabling environment to be proper educated to be able to appreciate peace and love, as well as making themselves unavailable to be used for violence.

Earlier the Chairman of Conflict Prevention Committee of the Rivers State Partners for Peace, Mr. Princewill Sobebo, advised the youths to always send text messages using the state code to the appropriate numbers made available to them whenever they sensed trouble in their areas.

Mr. Sobebo told the youths that they must always use the proper strategy to achieve peace adding that protest was not wrong, but that they must analyse the situation before protesting. He said that peace-building would save Nigeria from the Rwandan experience.

Also speaking to the youths was a member of the Partners for Peace, Mr. Franklin Nelson, who said that for the youths to be ambassadors of peace, they must always identify their purpose and find possibilities of achieving them.

Amaka Agbu, Port Harcourt

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