A call has gone out to youths to channel their energy into productive activities as they are pivotal actors in the achievement of peace and sustainable development in the country.
This appeal was made by Lagos Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu, on Thursday, during a virtual youth dialogue on peace and conflict resolution organised by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development.
The Commissioner noted that the effect of COVID-9 pandemic on youths has been tremendous, creating personal and group conflict in the society, hence the need to dialogue and find lasting solutions to issues that may trigger conflict in the society.
Conflict, the Commissioner noted, may arise as a result of lack of education, skills or adequate information, pointing out that idle youths can be easily lured into violence and manipulated by extremist groups.
Dawodu observed that because conflict as a form of human character cannot be wished away, it is essential to address conflicting issues and resolve them effectively before they escalate into violence, abuse or war.
He maintained that peace and conflict resolution allow people to thrive economically, socially and politically by addressing the root causes of violence.
Dawodu charged youths to take advantage of the many opportunities created by the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for building a network for peace and prevention of conflicts and violence.
While charging youths to avoid idleness, the Commissioner advised them to key into the entrepreneurship drive of the State as well as agriculture, saying “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Yewande Falugba noted that youths possess a strong potential to drive change at all levels and can be heroes of strong positive action.
She noted that although youths may be at the centre of negative security related issues, large numbers of them are making a positive impact in the society, urging youths to embrace non-violence and channel their energy into making good use of the technological advances available.