DIG Foundation, LEAP Africa Engage Ebonyi Youths on Dialogue-Not-Damage Campaign

By Israel Mbam, Abakaliki

A civil society organization, Development and Integrity Intervention Goals, DIG Foundation with support from LEAP Africa and Nigeria Youth Future Fund have held a one-day sensitization of Ebonyi youths on need to build value and engage in dialogue in resolving issues. The sensitization programme which was well attended by youths and stakeholder was tagged “Dialogue-Not-Damage Campaign Project”. 

Speaking at the programme held at International Conference Center Abakaliki, the Executive Director of DIG Foundation, Chief Oliver Aja Chima said the project was aimed at sensitizing youths and stakeholders on need to shun violence and to always apply dialogue in conflict resolution rather than violence that leads to damages. He revealed that survey conducted in Ebonyi state indicates that almost all the Local Governments and communities has one form of crises or the other. He stressed the need for the use of dialogue to achieve peace and harmonious co-existence among youths and the people of the State.
Chief Oliver Ajah adds that DIG Foundation shall through the project carryout series of activities, including advocacy call and training of youths as Ambassadors for peace and unity across communities in the State. He therefore called on stakeholders, community leaders, youth groups, student leaders and religious organizations to join hands to promote unity and support peaceful co-existence in their various communities.

There were presentations and goodwill messages from the State Director of National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Onyekachi Okorie, representative of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Traditional Rulers, Ministry of Information and State Orientation, Youths and Sports, Boarder Peace and Conflict Resolution. Others were from political parties, Town Union Presidents, CSOs and the President of Student Union Government SUG, Ebonyi State University, Comrade Oshim Tobias Nkwegu.    

Part of the resolutions and communiqué reached at the end of the interactive session of the programme as was read by DIG Foundation Advisor, Dr. Emmanuel Abah include, that youths should make themselves instrument of value and not violence; that age grades and regular engagements with youths should be used as instruments to engage youths on dialogue and not damage. 
Others are for government, leaders at all levels and citizens to defend and promote justice and fairness as foundation for peace building; need to separate politics from community development issues;  concerted efforts to reduce abuse and illicit drugs intake, understanding early warning and greater awareness on practical roles of peace and dialogue in community development.

Participants of the programmme who were drawn from the three senatorial zones in Ebonyi state, also emphasized the need for genuine youth empowerment and skill development programmes as a way of keeping youths away from violence and damages.

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