The Kogi Government has commended the initiative and efforts of Mercy Corps, an International Non Governmental Organisations (INGO) in building useful youths in the state.
The State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Idris Musa, gave the commendation on Thursday when the Youth Peace Network established by USAID-Funded Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP) Program at Mercy Corps paid him an advocacy visit in his office in Lokoja.
“Gov Yahaya Bello is aware of the tremendous job the corps is doing for the state in building peaceful and useful youths through this initiative.
“We are very happy to hear about the giant strides of the corps’ youth network in promoting peaceful coexistence in the state toward stimulating growth and development.
“This is why this government is emphasizsng on the need for all youths to embrace this network and work together to ensure a peaceful and prosperous society for all, ” he said.
Musa appealed to the members of the network to show leadership by example and also accommodate other youths into the network while working in unison as regards the organizational goals set by Mercy Corps.
The commissioner also tasked the youth network to do more in the areas of drug abuse on youths, internet fraud, cultism, which he said have become very critical challenges facing our society today.
He advised the network to visit schools on enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns because a lot of young persons have been locked away in recent times either because of drug-related offences or criminal offences like robbery, cultism etc.
According to him, young persons are expected to be the drivers of the change we desire in our communities because the youths can propel development as no society can develop without the input of productive youths in developmental strides.
Musa further advised that as the Nov. 11 Governorship election draws closer, youths must not allow themselves to be used as tools for destabilisation and destruction.
Earlier, Mrs Ene Omoha, Mercy Corps’ Network Coordinating Team leader, the Youth Engagement Officer of CIPP, said that the Youth Peace Network is a group of young person’s working under the CIPP program in various communities to ensure peaceful coexistence and peace building in the various communities they are resident in.
Omoha explained that the networks were from four Local Government Areas of Lokoja, Dekina, Igalamela and Yagba West creating tremendous impact in the areas.
She passionately appealed to the commissioner and the entire members of his team to embrace the Youth Peace Networks and ensure that they were keyed into the ministry’s future projects.
“We in Mercy Corps believes that investing in young persons will help transform the society for good and this is the reason for the establishment of the Youth Peace Network.
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“This is because with sustainable peace, comes development and with development comes positive change in any given society.
“We indeed thank the youths and sports ministry for operating an open door policy for young persons.
“We do hope that this new relationship entered into by the Youth Peace Network will be the turning point for a more robust and positive change in the state as the youths will take the center stage on the drive for a peaceful society,” she said.
Our Correspondent reports that the various youth peace network expressed themselves before presenting their recommendations including Terms of Reference (TOR) and appeals of the advocacy visit to the government through the commissioner.
The network also presented a Peace Shirt, Cap, and CIPP Folders and Factsheets to the Honorable Commissioner as a mark of appreciation.