**Promises to engage politicians against deploying youths as thugs
Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Nigeria Coalition on Youth Peace and Security (NCYPS) has urged the Nigerian youth to exercise their civic responsibilities by not shying away but coming out to vote candidates of their choice.
The Co-Chair/Technical Lead, of the coalition Theophilus Ekpon, at a press briefing to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the United Nation’s resolution 2250 on Youth peace and security, said the new electoral act 2022 has raised the hope that the elections would be free and fair.
“We believe with the new Electoral Act that was passed, the elections would be free and fair. So young people should come and exercise their civic rights.
“Again they should do that in a peaceful atmosphere because if you come out to vote you have one vote. You should kindly Cast your vote and go.
“Don’t allow yourself to be used by politicians. Young people should grow above being used by politicians. They should be able to resist conflict entrepreneurs because when the violence comes with its repercussion, young people will be the ones to suffer.
“When they say 10 people died it is the youths that are dying, so young people should resist such temptations, they should also come out to vote but refused to be bought.
“They should not allow their votes to be bought because if you sell your vote, you will stay for another four years and you will be crying. People are crying today because they did not exercise their civic rights properly.
He said they are going to organise a training for political parties on how they should checkmate politicians because politicians are alleged to be responsible for the violence as they are the ones buying them drugs, guns and giving them money.
“Why working with the youths on the hot spots, we are also working with the politicians to ensure that they change their approach and the political parties who have the power to sanction politicians for doing such things. We are also going to build their capacities.
He said also work with the private sector through a high level conference on Youth, Peace and security.
“We want it to be high level so that private sector can come to the table, as we have not engaged tem very properly before now
“Why we need their funds, we also want them to engage in the do-no-harm principle. Because the private sector over time has been aiding and abetting a lot of these conflicts.
“Look at the Niger Delta, it is the Private sector, look at what is going on in the Mambilla right now about the solid minerals, look at even the Zamfara where this insurgency started coming out of, it is the private sector, gold or what they say they are doing there.
“This is why we want to engage the private sector constructively in the do no harm principle. If we are able to convinced them and they change their practices. It will support Youth, Peace and security in Nigeria.
He said they will also engage psychosocial support and trauma healing because a lot of young people are traumatized, especially those involved in drugs, violent extremism and terrorism.
“A lot of them are survivors, in terms of rape, a lot were forcefully taken into the Bush for one year, two years and they came out with pregnancies.
“We just read in the newspaper that the Nigerian Military were helping to abort children, upto 10, 000 girls have undergone forceful abortions because they were allegedly impregnated by the Bokoharam people.
“So we want to also engage in psycho social support whereby we support young people out of trauma.
According to him, between now and 2024, they will give some grants to young people especially in pilot States so that they can go and implement their own projects.
“We will give them technical support, we will follow them up, monitor and evaluate their project but we want young people to be able to drive their project, use their own initiatives, it is not a lot of money, use the money and manage it to come up with solutions that can enhance society in terms of peace building and development. “These are some of the key things we have set aside for the next two years
According to him, the Nigerian Police being part of the Nigerian Coalition for youths, peace and security, has adviced them to focus on Hot Spots where guns and drugs are the main drivers.
“That is where crimes and violence come from. The politicians go to these hot spots. That is why we are working the young people at the hot spots to see how we can integrate them to change their mind sets in terms, of Youth, Peace and security,
On the new wave where INEC offices are being burnt down he said, that is why they asked the youths to shun violence.
“It is the young boys in the hot spots who have taken something that are high, that is why we were advised by the DSS, the police that our focus should be on the hot spots. That if we focus on the hot spots we would have achieved 90% success.
Giving background to the 7 years commemoration he indicated that the Resolution 2250 is a thematic resolution that deals with the topic of youth from an international peace and security perspective.
“Recognizing the youth’s efforts in peace building, it provides a set of guidelines upon which policies and programs will be developed by member states, the UN and civil society.
He said it is a global policy framework, adopted by the UNSC in December 2015, that explores how conflict impacts young people’s lives and what must be done to mitigate its effects, as well as how youth can be meaningfully included in creating peaceful communities.
“This resolution talks about five key action areas/pillars: Participation, Protection, Prevention, Partnership and Disengagement and Reintegration.
“These five pillars and the resolution itself promote a new narrative of young people with regards to peace and ensures legitimacy and accountability
“Basically Nigeria was among the countries that pushed for the adoption of the UN security Council Resolution 250
“The resolution has become a policy frame work focusing on young people globally and their roles in terms of youth, peace and security, because young people have over time been disenfranchised as they were perceived as the problem, whereas it is the other way round.
“Young people are parts of the solution and we must engage young people holistically to develope their talents and skills for peace building and National development.
“This is why the UN security Council resolution 2250 on Youth, peace and security is so important to Nigeria given the multiplicity of conflict we have all over the places.
“Empirical evidence suggests that 90 to 95% all conflict in Nigeria is perpetuated by young people hence the need to focus on young people if we must ensure sustainable peace in our nation, we must focus on young people if not we will not be able to have peace.
“This is why the UN resolution 2250 was unanimously adopted in New York on December 9th, 2015. Nigeria saw it as an opportunity to revisit the Youth, Peace and security agenda in Nigeria hence the UN security Council resolution 2250 on Youth, peace and security was launched in October 2016 to bring the focus on Young people and their roles in peace building in Nigeria.
“After the launch stakeholders said we needed to establish a national coordinating framework for the implementation of the UN security council resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and security hence the National working group on youth and peace building was established which has now metamorphosis in to the Nigerian Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security following the establishment of the Global Coalition of Youth, peace and security.
“So the Nigerian Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security is the Coordinating mechanism for the implementation of the UN security Council Resolution 2050 on Youth, Peace and security in Nigeria and of course the whole Youth Peace and security agenda.
“The Nigerian Coalition reports directly to the Global Coalition. The Nigerian Coalition had three Co-chairs, the government Co- chairman which is a Director at the ministry of youths and Sports Development and Civil Society Co-chair and a Youth Co-chair bringing together these three constituencies to make decisions so that young people don’t have to suffer too much, or struggle too much to reach out to policy makers at the same table making the decisions.
This he said is to ensure that they are no longer disenfranchised.
“There is also a steering committee made up of 16 strong organizations majority of which are Youth organizations who support the work of the cochairs to make decision that guide the implementation of the Youth, Peace and security agenda.
EU reports: LP says FG is feebly adopting face saving measures
***EU only hit the nail on the head
The leadership of the Labour Party has countered the Federal Government of Nigeria for discrediting the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 General Election wherein it faulted the modalities by which the conclusion was reached.
It reiterated what it believed as the accurate testament of the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 general elections which merely hit the nail on the head.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh said,
“Eropean Union’s Conclusion on the 2023 general elections are nit Jaundiced but accurate Testament of the outcome of the FG and INEC alliance to change the will of the electorate.”
“We see this face-saving measure by the Federal Government which is coming days after the submission of the report as feeble and medicine after death.
“It will interest the government to note that the European Union’s report is only one out of numerous submissions by other international Observers who have described the outcome of the election as a sham and an exercise that did not reflect the will of the majority of Nigerians.
“Labour Party stands by the position of the EU observation mission. We have always said that this election was massively rigged in favour of the APC and their candidate.
“What the FG is saying is just an afterthought and a shameless effort to mask the obvious. Even the blind can see, the deaf can hear and they know this election was manipulated.
“Huge pieces of evidence abound for even the deaf and the blind to hear and feel. We are only hoping that the judiciary will dispense justice without fear or favour in the interest of the nation and posterity.
“Nigerians already know the true winner of the 2023 presidential election and no amount of slandering, denial, or rebuttal can change the fact that the party in power has no mandate of the electorate.
“We must also note that whatever position the INEC has taken is with active connivance with the Federal Government to deny the electorate and it clearly shows that INEC is not in any way independent.
“The Commission’s action is at the whims and caprices of the government and we know it. But Nigerians looking to the Judiciary for justice. That’s where we stand.”
FG tackles EU over report on 2023 general elections
The Federal Government has countered the European Union’s report on the 2023 general elections, describing the conclusions therein as “jaundiced”.
The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy gave the indication in a statement on Sunday.
“We urge the EU and other foreign interests to be objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs of our country and allow Nigeria to breathe,”
According to him, the February 25, 2023 presidential election was “clearly and fairly” won by Tinubu, the then candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also advised that the EU allow Nigeria to breathe and not meddle in the affairs of the country.
“We find it preposterous and unconscionable that in this day and age, any foreign organisation of whatever hue can continue to insist on its own yardstick and assessment as the only way to determine the credibility and transparency of our elections,” he said.
He said the presidency was not unaware of the “machinations of the European Union to sustain its, largely, unfounded bias and claims on the election outcomes”.
Alake further stated that there is no substantial evidence provided by the EU or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.
“We would like to know and even ask EU, how it reached the conclusions in the submitted final report with the very limited coverage of the elections by their observers who, without doubt, relied more on rumours, hearsay, cocktails of prejudiced and uninformed social media commentaries and opposition talking heads,” he stated.
“We have many reasons to believe the jaundiced report, based on the views of fewer than 50 observers, was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.
“We strongly reject, in its entirety, any notion and idea from any organisation, group and individual remotely suggesting that the 2023 election was fraudulent.”
The media aide said Nigeria has put the elections behind, and Tinubu is facing the task of nation-building.
“As a country, we have put the elections behind us. President Tinubu is facing the arduous task of nation-building, while those who have reasons to challenge the process continue to do so through the courts.”
On June 27, 2023, the EU presented its report on the 2023 elections in Nigeria to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The EU said the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signaled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
The EU also identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward.
Some of the key areas listed by the Mission are ambiguities in the law, the establishment of a publicly accountable process for the selection of the INEC members, ensuring real-time publication of results as well as access to election results.
It also highlighted the need for protection for media practitioners while decrying the discrimination against women in elective and appointed positions as well as impunity regarding electoral offences.
Okumagba expresses confidence in Tinubu to initiate inclusive national reconciliation
***Says, the president has capacity to confront insecurity with reforms
***Applauds his agenda poised to bringing about a dawn of a new era
Prominent leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun Bernard Okumagba has expressed the confidence in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s newly inaugurated government to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to Nigeria through an inclusive national reconciliation process.
Okumagba who is also a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the president has the capacity to remarkably focus on confronting insecurity through a reform of the sector; growing the economy; and tackling multi-dimensional poverty, which would boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
By so doing, he said the new government will create a robust middle class that will drive our Country’s economic rebound under his watch.
In a Press Statement, Olorogun Okumagba, a former Delta State Commissioner for Finance, also reckoned that the new President who has an established reputation as a bridge builder, a true progressive, an astute believer in true federalism, and who has over the years sacrificed to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the country, will bring these remarkable skills and attributes to bear in renewing the hopes of Nigerians for a more prosperous nation.
These were contained in a statement he issued to congratulate President Bola Tinubu (GCFR) and Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON) on their momentous inauguration as the 16th President, and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He wished them every success in guiding our country towards stability, true democratic governance and economic development.
Reacting to President Tinubu’s inaugural address, aptly captioned “THE NIGERIAN IDEAL”, shortly after being sworn-in by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Olorogun Okumagba eulogised the President for his firm and unequivocal commitment to “progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal” succintly captured in his five governance principles.
The principles that will guide his administration as outlined by President Tinubu include “governing according to the constitution and the rule of law; to defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country; and to remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.”
Okumagba also applauded President Tinubu’s promise to address the nation’s economic problems and his directive to the monetary authorities to make monetary policy to be more business friendly and work towards a unified exchange rate.
Okumagba stated his deep appreciation of the significant role President Tinubu has played in seeking solutions to the political and economic challenges assailing our nation. Olorogun Okumagba recalls that President Tinubu’s remarkable transformation of Lagos State as Governor between 1999 and 2007, and the sustenance of a succession pipeline has since made Lagos the state of choice to live in, work, and play.
In tune with the mood of the nation for “renewed hope” of a more prosperous and united nation, Olorogun Okumagba re-affirmed his best wishes for the success of the important work that lies ahead.
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