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‘Youth should be involved in decision making to prevent violence’

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President, Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR), Prof. Jonah Isawa Elaigwu has said societies where youths don’t have a say in the decision making process are susceptible to conflicts and social unrest.

Speaking at the first round of town hall meetings in the five local governments of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, themed ‘Encouraging Youth Participation In The Decision Process In Plateau Central Senatorial Zone’, Elaigwu lamented that leadership positions, including those specifically meant for the youths, are often occupied by the elderly, adding that in most developed countries, youths have found non–violent ways of confronting and holding their leaders accountable.
 
He noted that in the central zone, where the youths constitute the majority of the population, they have also been largely sidelined in the decision making process.

“Over the years, Plateau State has experienced recurrent violent conflicts, which have left thousands dead and many others displaced. Consequently, young people in the state have been drawn into a cycle of violence, making them particularly vulnerable to being radicalised and sympathetic to violent extreme ideologies.”
 
Elaigwu suggested active involvement of youths as change agents in the peace process, not simply as beneficiaries, but also as stakeholders, who could hold their leaders to account constructively, peacefully and regularly.

  


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