Reject violence and abide by the rule of law DGD Director tells youths.

Jul 2, 2014

The Director of the Democratic Governance for Development Project in Nigeria (DGD), Dr Mourtada Deme, has advised Nigeria's young people to reject violence, abide by the rule of law and respect fundamental freedoms of speech, religion and association as they go about their normal politicking.

The DGD Director was speaking at a two day forum on the official launch of the Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation and the inauguration of the Nigerian Youth Interparty and Civil Society Forum which is being attended by 150 youths drawn from political parties and youth civil society organizations.

At the occasion, Dr Deme urged young people to respect the rules of democracy and commit themselves to rejecting political violence. Politics, Dr Deme said, is relevant to young people and they must begin to feel part of the process. While imploring for greater youth participation in politics, Dr Deme also called on political parties to show commitment in rejecting electoral violence. "Legitimate political parties cannot have a youth militia wing. Parties have to accept the results of free and fair elections and if they are committed to democracy, they must reject violence" he said. Dr Deme informed the forum that the DGD is proud to be part of the ongoing process of harnessing youth potentials for effective electoral participation in the 2015 elections.

In her goodwill message, Regional Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional and Mutil-sectoral Office in Abuja, Professor Hassana Alidou called for innovative solutions to address issues relating to youths. Otherwise she said, "we are likely to continue to face violent extremist and radicalization which feed off the frustrations of young people."

The launch of the Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation and the inauguration of the Nigerian Youth Interparty and Civil Society Forum is a two day event that brings together different stakeholders in the electoral process and young people to deliberate on strategies to improve the quality of youth participation ahead of the 2015 elections.

Over the last 24 months, youth leaders of political parties and youth civil society organizations with the support of the DGD and its international partners including the EU, engaged debates, roundtables and conferences all in a bid to improve the quality of youth participation in electoral politics. One key outcome of the engagement was the drafting of an agenda that articulates policy and programmatic frameworks that safeguards youth participation in electoral politics in the build up to the 2015 general elections and beyond.

The Youth Agenda on Political Participation articulates the views and aspirations of young people irrespective of political, religious, ethnic and sectional interests.

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