By Jonathan Ugbal
In a bid to prepare youths for leadership challenges and electoral conflict mitigation, members of Partners for Peace, P4P Cross River State Chapter recently concluded a one day seminar/workshop in Calabar with a theme centered on youths and electoral violence.
In a welcome address, the Cross River State coordinator of Partners for Peace (P4P), Mr. Ugah Godwin stressed the need for the sensitization workshop citing the growing trend in electoral violence in the country especially in the state and Niger-Delta region in particular.
According to him, “The topic for this practicum has been carefully selected to prepare youths for tomorrows leadership challenges and to stress on their roles in the mitigation of electoral violence in Nigeria”.
The state chapter chairman maintained that, ”We aim to discuss development strategies to prevent conflict in the forthcoming elections, the youths need to understand that they play a vital role in stopping electoral violence in Nigeria by discussing issues that promote elections to be free of violence with a view to not only discussing them but charting implementatable strategies that will go a long way to stem this tide, our leaders need to refrain from making inflammatory statements and wantonly taking democratically detrimental decisions”.
The workshop featured a paper presentation on ”Preparing Youths For Tomorrow’s Leadership Challenges” by Mr. Godwin Ebeli who tasked youths to identify their fields and stressed that leaders were not born but raised through a learning process urging them to read more, be focused and have visions.
Presentation on ”Electoral Violence” by Mr. Godwin Ugah, the state chapter chairman of the Non-Governmental Organization, NGO supported by Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta gave a brief review of the recorded electoral violence in some Niger-Delta States after the 2011 general elections and urged youths to know violence never answers grievances as the defeated are tempted to seek revenge, thereby creating a chain reaction that easily lead to self help.”
The workshop which held at the conference hall in the Federal Secretariat complex in Calabar drew participants from various youths and pressure groups, civil societies’ organizations and non-governmental organizations. Some participants expressed satisfaction with the timing of the workshop.
“Asari Eso Youth Forum members must hear this, after today’s workshop, I don’t think I will relax again, I will work harder and disseminate this information” says Josephine Asuquo of Asari Eso Youth Forum while Uta Eke of Girls Power Initiative, GPI maintained that, ”Workshops like this should be held often, there were some issues I would have loved to be treated more deeply, but the timing was good, I use to shy away from topics and issues such as these but today I have learnt a lot”.
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