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Saraki, DG IPCR, others task youths on peace and security

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Friday challenged the youths to see themselves as advocates of peace and harmonious coexistence to ensure security and unity of the country.
The Senate President gave the charge in Abuja in an address delivered at a positive peace workshop for students in tertiary institution in Abuja and Federal Capital Territory.
The workshop was organised by the Rotary Club of Abuja and Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR).
Saraki who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security and Intelligence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Saleh Maina stressed the need for positive orientation among the youths for peace and security.
He noted with concern that the prevailing situation of crimes such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking and politically-induced violence could only be detrimental to our well-being as a nation.
“It is the youth that are most susceptible to being manipulated and used by those who are opposed to peace and development.
“The youths are among those who suffer the most as a result of these societal ills. This is why this positive peace workshop for about 300 students in Abuja is so important.
“If we can get our younger ones, who are the leaders of tomorrow, to be advocates for peace, we would have made some inroad into ensuring the security of Nigeria,” he said.
While lauding the organisers of the event, he said that the importance of unity and security could not be over emphasised.
“Security through peaceful coexistence and community enlightenment has to form a major plank of our message to the youth.
“We have seen the negative effects of insecurity and chaos in our economy and the youths in general, and there is no gainsaying that insecurity is simply not an option.
“There must be another way,” he said.
While pledging the National Assembly’s support for ideas and strategies that could enhance and sustain Nigeria’s project, Saraki called on all stakeholders to join hands in ensuring peace of the nation.
The Director General of IPCR, Prof. Oshita O. Oshita, said that mentoring the youths on the path of peace building in the country was a great responsibility of every adult and not that of government.
Oshita noted that the nation was bedeviled by numerous violent conflicts which are most times perpetrated through the instrumentality of the unsuspecting youths.
“The paradox being that the youths find themselves destroying the country of their future where they have many more years to stay than those deploying them to kill and destroy.
“Time has come when the youths must rise to the occasion and join to shape the future of the country.
“If the youths say “No” to violence, the nation will never experience violent conflict because it is not the old and weak that carry arms but the strong and mobile.
According to him youth energy is responsible for the mobility of violence. Time has come when the youths must rise the occasion and say enough is enough.
“We must refuse to be used to kill ourselves, enough of being used to destroy our society; enough of being used to destroy our future, enough of being used to implement other people’s selfish agenda.
“The future of Nigeria is yours and it start now, the youth helping conflict entrepreneurs to drive must rise and stop violent conflicts in our country.
“Youth power can be a positive force for socio-economic and political development.
He challenged Nigerian youths to use their God given talents to achieve what the Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, 31, and President of France, Emmanuel Macron, 40, had achieved in their youthful age
The Charter President Rotary Club of Abuja Metro, Prince Oluseyi Lufadeju, said that the workshop hoped to assist the tertiary students understand and make use of peaceful alternatives in all their activities.
Lufadeju described peace as a natural social condition unlike war stressing that all must therefore embrace peaceful initiative and activities at all times.
“All factors that create and nurture peace also lead to many other positives like thriving economies, better understanding, high level of resilience and patience leading to societal change.
“We need positive peace in our lives and society. If and when there is peace, there is a better appreciation of progress, well –being and satisfaction of the community,” he said.
Amb. Oluwole Coker, Nigerian former ambassador to Cote D’ Ivoire stressed the need to rebuild family and society structures which he described as the foundation of peace and security of the nation.
“The society is made up of family the family teaches a child what to do or not, it teaches to love one’s neighbor and with other.
“But what we experience is because the family system has broken down there no more values in the family.
“Let rebuild the family and society to ensure peace, in those days the leaders of community are the first to know about security, the society start with the family unit ,” he said