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March 9: Youths in Plateau sign agreement for peaceful elections




Youths in some communities in Plateau signed peace agreement on Thursday in Jos,
as part of efforts for peaceful elections on March 9.

Nigerians would go to the polls on March 9 to vote for new state governors and members of state houses of assembly.

The Plateau youth peace treaty was signed during a citizens interactive session with vulnerable groups on peaceful and credible elections,
organised by Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria (CEPAN) with support from Search for Common Ground.

The agreement was signed by communities from Jos North and South Local Government Areas comprising Tudun-Wada , Ungwan Rogo,
Rikkos and Gada-biyu, among others.

Rev. Samuel Goro, the Executive Director of CEPAN, said youths should be peace ambassadors and must shun any action that could trigger violence.

He said that for a violent free election, certain measures must be complied with, saying that people should not be forced to vote for candidates against their wish.

He added that “voters should not be intimidated to vote certain candidates and open campaign on election day should not be allowed.”

He urged youths to desist from drugs intake and engaging in uneccessary arguments during the elections, saying it could provoke negative reactions.

He said “we urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make reliable arrangements for their logistics to ensure successful polls.

“Uneccesary delay in conveying electoral materials to polling units and incomplete materials have been found to cause agitations by youths who perceive
deprivation of their right to vote their choice leaders.

“I urge INEC not to delay result announcement and to avoid cancelling elections without evidence of electoral malpractice because this could
trigger negative reactions too.”

Miss Grace Dalla from Jos North Local Government Area, said some People With Disabilities (PWDs) had challenges accessing their polling units,
saying the EC40H forms for their data were not issued.

She, however, added that the people were among the first to vote during election.

Mr Abdullahi Musa , a youth leader from Unguwan Rogo, cautioned party supporters against “violent” celebrations after elections, saying
that the attitude was unwholesome and could trigger violence.

Those at the interactive session included reformed drug addicts, women leaders and youth leaders who served as peace ambassadors in their various

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Don cautions youths against social media addiction



Mr Babatunde Abdulkareem, Head of Department of Political Science, Kwara State College of Education, Oro, has cautioned youths in the country against addiction to social media as it can affect their academic performances.

Abdulkareem gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Saturday.

He said teenagers’ early exposure to social media might cause distraction to their studies and academic pursuit.

According to him, teenagers spend most of their time on internet access facilities like phone, computer set accessing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp instead of studying their books.

“Teenagers spend most of their time on phone without considering their books. They chat with friends and make video calls forgetting they need to read their books.

“They prefer to spend 24 hours on social media than sacrificing just 30 minutes for their books.

“That is why most teenagers’ academic performance has dropped drastically. They perform poorly because they don’t read again all in the name of chatting,” he said.

Abdulkareem also urged parents to checkmate their children by forcing them to read at the right time instead of pressing phones.

“Parents should stop over-pampering children. They should always ensure that children spend more time on their books instead of hanging out with friends on social media,” he advised.

The don also warned teenagers against abuse of social media, saying that it could cause distraction and lead to failure.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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COVID-19: Ekiti LG chair urges youths to observe physical distancing



The Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti state on Friday urged the youth of the area to always maintain physical distancing during the relaxation of lockdown.

The Chairman, Mr Foluso Ojo, made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria , in Oye-Ekiti.

Ojo said that he was aware that the youth were delighted to be free to move around but noted that some of them were not abiding by the physical distancing to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He urged them to always stay away from social gatherings such as parties and any venue with lots of people.

The chairman also urged parents to always educate their children and ensure that they adhered strictly to the necessary precautions to make sure that the virus was eradicated from their communities.

Ojo also appealed to the traditional leaders to assist the council to educate the youth to always use their nose masks and maintain social distancing at all times.

He, however, assured the youth that his administration would continue to be committed to their welfare, development and health care.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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World Environment Day: NGO tasks youths on nature preservation



A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Leadership Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, has urged youths to lead advocacy on nature and environment preservation from the community level.

The Executive Director of LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday.

Okenwa spoke on the sidelines of the World Environment Day, which is commemorated worldwide on June 5 and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Biodiversity’’.

He said that youths could make a difference even in their local communities by engaging in positive environmental enhancement practices and persuading others to treat the environment with care and respect.

According to him, what can youths do differently? They can educate others on the need to respect our environment, engage in clean-up campaign and finally go and plant a tree.

Okenwa said: “It is instructive that this year’s World Environment Day comes at a time when the world is united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many nature advocates believe that the only possible benefit of the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the fact that the earth enjoyed a holiday from human’s constant exploitation.

LEAD Network believes that though our environment has supported us greatly in terms of the air we breathe, food we eat, the water we drink and the sun rays that reach us, there has not been a commensurate kindness and regard to the same environment and nature itself.

“Man is part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately his tendencies to exploit the environment has been without regard to other life forms and posed a threat to sustaining lives under water and on the land in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Man’s negative and exploitative approach to the environment makes it imperative that youths, who are the active occupiers of the world, must stand up and advocate for positive and sustainable environment that will support them and generation to come’’.

The LEAD Network boss also lamented the “unfortunate’’ mass felling of trees in the country, which would soon result to a threat to the climate and the survival of other forms of life.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Ondo Assembly cautions youths against uncouth character



Ondo State House of Assembly on Thursday advised youths to shun bad habits that could hinder them from benefitting from opportunities around them.

Mrs Favour Tomomewo, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, gave the advice during an oversight visit to the Ondo State Christian Welfare Board on Thursday in Akure.

Tomowemo, who was reacting to the board’s complaint about abscondment of some youths during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, asked youths to be morally guided and imbibe moral character.

“Let me talk to the youths now that they must be morally guided so that they will not cut short various opportunities and benefits which abound around them,” she said.

She asked the Christian board not to deny the youths some of the knowledge that could be gained while attending pilgrimage.

“The image the board painted about our youths is ugly but we must not deny them of the opportunity because there are a lot of benefits that they will extract.

“I will only advise the board to lay down some policies restricting our youths during pilgrimage and work with some prominent personalities in the state like lawmakers to present trusted youths that will not abscond.

“I want to urge them not to strike out the opportunities from the youths,” she said.

The committee chairman tasked the board to be proactive and come up with ideas on sourcing funds from well-to-do people in helping the Christian body.

Earlier, Mr Tunde Ilesanmi, the Secretary of the board, said that the board had put stringent conditions on youth pilgrimage because of incessant cases of abscondment.

Ilesanmi explained that anybody below 50 years of age was always disqualified.

The secretary, who cited several cases of such abscondment, said that there was training session on agriculture for youths during pilgrimage.

The committee, which also visited the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, applauded the ministry for its unrelenting efforts in defending and catering for  the vulnerable in the state.

Tomowemo asked the ministry to adopt more strategies in addressing high rate of rape in the society and synergize with the committee on the provision for widows and others.

She stated that the ministry should create enough publicity for its humanitarian roles and prosecute rapists to serve as deterrent for others.

Earlier, Mrs Titi Adeyemi, the state Commissioner for Woman Affairs and Social Development, explained that the ministry was concerned and disturbed by rise in rape cases.

Adeyemi said that the ministry was collaborating with traditional rulers in the state on curtailing the menace of rape, promising that the House of Assembly would be briefed later.

The committee also visited the Ondo State Muslim Welfare Board.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Zambia minister encourages deepened exchanges among Zambian, Chinese youths




A senior Zambian government official says Chinese work culture should be inculcated in Zambian youths for enhanced national development, encouraging youths of the two countries to have more exchanges.

Emmanuel Mulenga, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development said Thursday that the Chinese hard-working culture should be indoctrinated in Zambian youths to have a strong generation for strengthened development.

“We (are) looking forward to having youths mentored with Chinese work culture,” he said in an interview.

Mulenga said the ministry is focused to have Zambian youths go for online exchange programs during this period when the world is faced with the challenges of COVID-19.

According to the minister, Zambia will continue to work with China in various youth development programs for continued national youth education projects.

Nathan Mulenga, a student in Luanshya in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, said the government is trying, by all means, to educate the youths through various programs in conjunction with other countries such as China.

He called on Chinese youth groups to consider partnering with Zambian youths groups for education exchange programs in various fields such as technology.

China is a good model for Africa in terms of furthering national development that is beneficial starting with the youths, he said.

Mulenga is hopeful that the Chinese youths will have more technology exchange programs with their Zambian counterparts.


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Group to engage 10m youths to curtail spread of COVID-19



The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19, a humanitarian outfit, says it will engage about 10 million youths to serve as information agents to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Chairman, National Steering Committee of the group, Malam Gambo Haruna, made the pledge at official unveiling of the Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Haruna, a NAN staff, said that the unveiling of the compact marked the beginning of a paradigm shift in youth response and engagement in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic that had taken its tolls on the global human population in all ramifications, especially in Nigeria.

He explained that the aimed of the project was to domesticate the Global compact for youth in humanitarian action and COVID-19 to complement Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against the virus at all levels.

Haruna, therefore, said the compact was a wake-up call for all hands to be on deck in the humanitarian efforts to reduce the suffering of millions of Nigerians by addressing the humanitarian needs, risks and vulnerabilities.

According to him, the compact will form a framework for action, change and mutual accountability, against which youth can collectively assess and review progress during and beyond the pandemic.

” While recognising the fact that the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, and the Federal and State Ministries of Health have the primary responsibility to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the country.

” We are conscious of the fact that the government alone cannot win this battle. As such it needs to partner with the Civil Society Organisations to achieve the desired objectives.

The ‘Nigerian Youth Compact’, envisaged to engage about 10 million (10,000,000) Nigerian Youths in various Humanitarian and COVID-19 Response efforts across the country.

“These youth will serve as an information hub, where stakeholders can learn more about the pandemic and many of the major initiatives on COVID-19 and other humanitarian efforts.

”This, we hope, will be achieved through reliable and up-to-date information on the effects of COVID-19 on the Youth population, and how their response efforts from the Federal to community levels, can be obtained.

The Compact will also serve as a dynamic advocacy and implementation tool for all stakeholders to advance their response efforts to the public domain and foster new commitments and partnerships.

” In the same vein, it will also provide report and testimony to the transformation that is taking place in various communities across the country.

“This is imperative for creating opportunities for meaningful engagement of young people in the fight against the pandemic, ” he said.

Earlier, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, expressed optimism that Nigeria would come out stronger at the end of COVID-19 pandemic.

Aliyu said that the domestication of the Global Compact for Youth in Humanitarian Action and COVID-19 by the Nigerian Youth was commendable.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Global Compact for Youth in Humanitarian Action and COVID-19 was launched recently at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America, where more than 50 International Agencies made commitments to support the Initiative at National levels, across the world.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Spotlight: From waste into eco-friendly products, Gazan youths think big




A group of seven Palestinian young women have launched a local initiative to recycle the residential waste into eco-friendly products as a step to reduce the environmental pollution.

Glass, plastic, cardboard, metal bottles and clothing are among the most common domestic waste in the Gaza Strip which suffers from the acute garbage issue.

According to a 2018 report of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the average household waste in the Gaza Strip stands at 2,150 tons every day.

Burning garbage is a standard tool used by the residents in the impoverished coastal enclave to get rid of the accumulated trash in dozens of places across Gaza.

However, burning does more harm than good.

“It is no longer a secret that burning can cause long-term health problems,” said Etaf Hamad, an organizer of the initiative, adding that “living in an unhealthy environment is increasing the risk of viral infections including the coronavirus.”

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in January and its quick spread across the globe, the World Health Organization has urged people to live in a healthy environment and maintain their hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.

That, however, has proven to be difficult in Gaza, said Hamad, stressing that Gazans are suffering from the lack of medical staff, equipment and treatment, which prompted her and a group of other volunteers to come up with the recycling initiative that aimed at protecting the environment.

Moreover, they are also trying to involve their children in the initiative.

Encouraging mothers like themselves, the organizers had shared their videos on Facebook, calling on others to join in.

The videos went viral, with many other women deciding to participate, said Hamad.

“Women are the ones who are raising children and can thus bring about the much needed change,” Hamad explained.

Dania Abdul-Rahman from Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip was busy with her kids making soft puppets by using clothing and manufacturing flowerpots from plastic bottles.

The 42-year-old mother of five told Xinhua that she was worried about the spread of the virus in the most populated area, especially in light of medical equipment’s shortage.

“The initiative has helped me to overcome my fears and take matters into my own hands, contributing to the creation of a healthy environment,” explained Abdul-Rahman, who also taught her kids on the basics of the recycling.

In addition to that, Abdul-Rahman uses her newly acquired talent to make some money by making small puppets used as accessories for wedding halls and birthday parties.

Earning about 150 U.S. dollars a month, she said that it is enough to support her family amid the current uncertainty.

Another volunteer, Lamees Ahmed, who is only 11 years old, showed her friends a small bag that she has just made by herself from her old blouse.

“My mother taught me how to use my old clothes to turn them into something completely different,” the young girl told Xinhua, adding that she will encourage her friends to adopt the recycling mechanism.

“Such initiatives will help the community to reduce their waste that could harm the environment,” Chairman of National Institute for Environment and Development Ahmed Hilles told Xinhua, adding that 80 percent of Gaza’s waste is made of organic constituents.

He noted that his institute had implemented dozens of initiatives to help the local families reduce their domestic waste and recycle most of the organic garbage.

The Palestinian government, as well as the area’s various environmental institutes have to support all youth initiatives that help the people to protect themselves from the disease,” Hilles added.


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Legal practitioner seeks employment for youths to boost economy



Mr Yusuf Ahmed, an Ilorin based legal practitioner, has said youths empowerment should be prioritised ahead of leadership trainings to ensure economic independence and boost survival.

Ahmed, who made the call in Ilorin on Saturday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria , said that youths deserved empowerment programme and not leadership training by government and individuals.

According to him, most government programmes on youths are solely on leadership training at different centres with little attempt on youths empowerment.

“Nigerian youths need more than leadership training to survive. Empowerment will take them out of unemployment and make them self-dependent.

“When you empower youths, you empower the nation. It will help save the country from economic collapse and reduce rate of poverty.

“Government must stop giving priority to leadership training and concentrate more on youth’s empowerment.

“Can leadership training alone give them food. Can leadership training survive them without tangible source of income?

“Please let us do more in terms of youth empowerment and stop pretending,” he said.

The legal practitioner also called on motivational speakers, politicians and government officials to concentrate on how to empower youths to improve the economy.

“Leadership training is also good but not when you are idle. Show youths how to live without relying solely on government for survival.

“It baffles me when I keep seeing banners of leadership training every weekend. We need to change our mentality and change the youths’ orientation through empowerment,” he said.

Ahmed, however, advised youths not to be lazy, but add value in whatever way by being creative.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Niger Delta youths condemn alleged attack on Akpabio’s integrity



Niger Delta Youth Council and Niger Delta Ex-Agitators Forum have unanimously condemned the alleged attack on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio’s integrity.

The Coordinator of the groups, Comrade Livinus Chinedu, condemned the attack in a statement he issued on Saturday in Abuja.

He said the groups had watched with concern the attack on the person and office of the minister and the interim management committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Chinedu said it was shocking to know that such attack was coming from the National Assembly.

He said the groups viewed such attack as being orchestrated with the aim of derailing the repositioning of the commission and the Niger Delta ministry.

According to him, the role of the legislature in a democracy is to make laws for the good governance of the country and the performance of oversight functions.

He said said that the invitation of the minister by the Senate over the alleged disbursement of N40 billion contract funds approved by the president amounted to a breach of due process.

“We believe that there are unattended issues of national emergency like the ravaging insecurity that are all begging for legislative attention.”

The groupsurged Akpabio to remain focused and resolute, adding that they were solidly behind him in his capacity to rewrite the narrative of the ministry.

“We affirm our implicit and unwavering confidence in his onerous task of leaving the Niger Delta better than he met it,” the coordinator said.

The groups commiserated with Akpabio on the demise of Chief Ibanga Bassey, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NDDC, in the wake of the ongoing forensic audit of the organisation.

Chinedu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister and the interim management of the commission for bringing the transformation the people of Niger Delta “yearned to see and feel”.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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