The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation and Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) organized a two days Youths in Peace Building Conference in Bauchi between 15th and 16th November 2017. The conference which took place at Chartwell Hotels and Suites Bauchi brought youths working in the area of peace from different organizations and places, the conference also featured the experience sharing of people living with disability from different conflicts so as to serve as lessons. Thirteen paper presentations were entertained from youth groups and civil society organizations working in the area of peace consolidation.
The conference noted the following concerns:
Ø Politicization of religion to achieve political interests which poses threat to peace and the targets are mostly youths.
Ø Sexual harassment of women and girls in the internally displaced camps is on the rise.
Ø Most youths are interested in the financial benefit they may gain from their engagement with CSOs not the impact of their contribution to the society.
Ø Media houses make money allowing hate contents as such they find it difficult to resist temptation to stop them.
Ø Most peace projects are funded by foreign NGOs as such they lack sustainability in the event that the donors withdraw funding.
Ø Lack of parental care breeds thugs and touts who are thrown to the streets and pose threat to peace.
Ø Recruitment of youths into extremist ideology and insurgency seems easy.
Ø Different religious sects only have regard for what scholars from their sects believed and told them.
We therefore recommend that:
Ø Should provide durable solutions to youths’ problem through skills acquisition and promotion of entrepreneurship in order to change the mindset of the youths from something else to peace.
Ø Should coordinate and support local and non state security actors
Ø Strengthen youths engagement in decision making processes especially in peace building
Ø Should consider forwarding the resolutions of the conference to the relevant stakeholders.
Ø Should encourage volunteerism in peace building.
Ø Should engage in social media campaign against Hate Speech and violent extremism
Ø Should encourage local CBOs capacity on local fundraising to support local initiatives
Ø Strengthen youth peace networks to enhance experience and information sharing.
Ø Sensitize youth on the need to be more patriotic
Ø Equip youths with skills on entrepreneurship and peace building through deliberate efforts.
Ø The conference should be stepped down to relevant stakeholders at the grass root level.
Ø Involve more young people and youth-led organizations in peace building.
Ø Rehabilitate and integrate youths involved in conflict.
Religious and community leaders
Ø Should encourage inter-tribal marriages and religious tolerance to promote peace and unity.
Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
Youths Initiative Against Violence & Human Rights
Bayero University Students for Peace (BUK S4P)
Blessing Gabriel Kabo
Federal Polytechnic Damaturu Students for Peace
Dauda Mohammed Gombe
North East Youths Initiative Forum (NEYIF)