Concentrate Your Energies Towards Building a Stronger and United Nigeria....UN Resident Coordinator Tells Nigerian Youth Politicians

Jul 21, 2014

The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria, Mr Daouda Toure has urged Nigeria's youths to embrace issues based politics and avoid being used as instruments of violence. "Posterity will judge you unkindly if you, the young people allow yourselves to be consumed by politics of hatred characterised by violence and destruction of property."
 
Mr Toure was speaking Monday, July 21, 2014 when he led a high powered delegation on a courtesy visit to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos. NIPSS is currently hosting a Political Party Leadership and Policy Development Centre (PPLPDC) which is supported by the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) to -capacitate political parties through requisite training for party leaders, executives, and core members.  The UNDP Resident Representative's delegation included his wife Mrs Toure, the UNESCO Regional Director in Abuja, Professor Hassana Alidou and the Director of Democratic Governance for Development in Nigeria (DGD), Dr Mourtada Deme.

Mr Toure's courtesy visit to NIPSS coincided with a three day training course for youth political leaders in Nigeria at the Political Party Leadership and Policy Development Centre (PPLPDC) which is supported by the DGD, with funds from its international partners- the European Union, the UK Department for International Development (UKAid), the Canadian  Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and UNDP.

The UNDP Resident Representative further called on Nigerian youths to concentrate their energies towards building a stronger and united Nigeria where each and every citizen is guaranteed his or her right to participate in the democratic process free from coercion and intimidation.

Nigeria, Mr Toure said, is too big and too important to allow to split. "You have to understand that no country in the West Africa sub-region is economically capable of coping with a large flow of migrants from Nigeria. It has many implications including food security implications."
   
Mr Toure therefore thanked NIPSS for the collaborative partnership with DGD to train political party leaders and their core-members which he said will further improve the democratic quality of political engagement in Nigeria. "The young people being trained here, will hopefully see the need to shun violence, and work with their respective political parties towards deepening Nigeria's democracy premised on tolerance, and respect for the rule of law.

Speaking earlier, the Director General of NIPSS, Professor Tijjani Muhammad Bande, accentuated the historical significance of NIPSS as a non partisan training institute that has over the years proved its mark as a centre of excellence for the training of  some of Nigeria's finest public administrators. Professor Tijjani said the collaboration with the DGD has enabled NIPSS to train 200 political party officials, including chairmen, secretaries, treasurers, women leaders, publicity secretaries and legal advisers. He further said the training would be extended to political party leaders at the state and ward levels. Professor Tijjani requested further support from  DGD to make this a reality.

Speaking on the theme "Elections, Leadership and Democratic Governance," the DGD Project Director Dr Mourtada Deme said the relationship between the three key words is that leadership does not emerge from a vacuum but a process of choice. "Legitimate leadership isn't imposed or stolen, but delivered through a democratic process.

"Each nation gives life to democracy and governance on its own way and in line with its tradition. But history offers a clear verdict that governments with leaders that respect the will of their people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable and more successful than governments that do not" Dr Deme said.
He therefore urged Nigeria's youths to abide by principles that will engender democracy in the country.  

Also speaking on the occasion, the UNESCO Regional Director in Abuja Professor Hassana Alidou said she was proud of the achievements of NIPSS. She promised that UNESCO would explore possibilities of partnering with UNDP and NIPSS to bring in participants from other countries in the West Africa sub region to equip them with the required skills to deepen democracy in West Africa. "This is necessary to reduce election related conflict and violence in the region" she said.

The training for youth political leaders,  the 8th course to be conducted by the Political Party Leadership and Policy Development Centre , is designed for youth leaders of the 26 registered political parties in Nigeria , in line with DGD's mandate to strengthen the capacity of political parties in Nigeria for peaceful elections, issues driven and citizens focused engagement with the democratic process.

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