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EU tasks youths on deepening democracy in Nigeria



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BAUCHI- The European Union (EU) has urged youths to deepen democracy and provide inclusive, sustainable and effective leadership for Nigeria.

Mrs Ngozi Felix, EU delegate to Nigeria and West Africa, gave the charge at a Youth Summit aimed at strengthening Youths’ Public Policy Making Skills, organised by International Alert a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) on Thursday in Bauchi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Alert is a peace building organisation established 30 years ago to bring young people together with young members of parliaments in Bauchi and Yobe states.

She noted that young people across the world were  facing challenges linked to job creation in the labor markets, globalisation, governance and the adverse  impact of climate change.

“As you are equipped with information on entry points into youth public policy engagement, your primary objective must be to deepen democracy and provide inclusive, sustainable and effective leadership.

“You must prioritise sincerity of purpose and place the collective interest of the Nigerian people and nation above all,” she said.

Felix lauded EU partnership with International Alert, Taimako Community Development Initiative, Yobe and Bauchi state governments for providing opportunities for young people to build their capacity for leadership, policy issues, conflict management and peace-building.

She explained that the EU is investing in building the capacities of Nigerian youths and supporting stakeholders engaged with youths across different thematic areas.

“There is no gainsaying that involving young people in decision-making processes can empower them and build their strengths.

“Policy makers should view youths as  resource to inform their decisions, and result in policies and priorities that are more relevant to youths’ inclusive development,” she said.

On his part, Mr Adamu Soro, Bauchi state Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development,  reiterated the commitment of government in supporting youth-oriented programmes in the state.

The commissioner, represented by Mr Lawal Mohammed, a director in the ministry, lauded the initiative of international alert and other partners for building youth capacity on policy matters and leadership.

“Bauchi government will continue to support youth-oriented programmes in the state for a better and sustainable crime free society.

“We wish to express our government’s desire to key into any of your suitable programmes by providing all necessary support for the progress of this state and country at large,” Soro said.

Earlier, Mrs Mary Hwyere, North-East Programme Manager, International Alert, explained that the youth summit was organised to create opportunities for young people to have more say in decision makings that shaped their lives.

“ Thus reducing grievances, addressing their basic needs, and rebuilding the fractured trust with community leaders, state authorities and security forces.

“Such trust is the foundation of long-term stability, as it encourages collaboration between different stakeholders in preventing and responding to conflict triggers,” she said.

Hwyere  added that the project was graciously founded by the EU, International Alert in partnership with  Taimako Community Development Initiative (TCDI).

NAN reports that TCDI is also involved in the implementation of a youth focused project titled: “Matasa Ku Taso ” which means Youth Arise! In Bauchi state  and Yobe. (NAN)




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