By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
To commemorate the 2022 World Peace Day, some activists under the banner of Speak Up Speak Out (SUSO) Nigeria, have called for reflection and appropriate action to be taken in addressing the barriers to youth inclusion in governance across the country.
They made the call during a press conference in Abuja on Friday, where the theme of this year’s World Peace Day ‘End Racism, Build Peace’ was also discussed.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Rafiu Lawal, highlighted the issue of ignorance, poverty, and lack of decent employment as some of the challenges hindering youth inclusion in the decision-making process.
He also explained that they are the root causes of the many violent conflict ravaging parts of the country.
Consequently, he called for drastic action on the part of the Federal Government to address them.
He said, “For many young people, this is their bane: that they continue to be caught in the crossfire of violent conflicts, either as victims or perpetrators.
“They are consciously and otherwise exposed to structures that portend high risk and tendency to replicate and support the same violent cultures they have known for the most part of their lives.
“These violent conflicts have sabotaged their livelihoods, further deepening their vulnerability, it has truncated their lives at its brightest, and has misdirected their prime energy and potentials.”
According to Lawal, what will guarantee peace in the country is the presence of education, justice, social infrastructure, employment etc.
While urging the Federal Government to address the structural barriers that limit the meaningful inclusion of the youths in leadership, he also advocated for the creation of an enabling environment for all young people to survive and thrive in the country.