Search for Common Ground through the Amplifying the expertise of African Peacebuilding Practitioners & Academics III project has convened experts on urban violence in Kano, Lagos, Rivers and the FCT Abuja.
The experts, including government agencies, development partners, civil society organisations, traditional and religious institutions, the private sector, and labour and student unions, discussed issues of urban violence in emerging cities in Nigeria.
They mentioned youth restiveness, gender-based violence, media-influenced violence, intra/inter-faith violence, unemployment/underemployment, migration, environmental, political repression (drug abuse, thuggery/cultism, extra-judicial activities), environmental pollution, industrialisation, amongst others.
Speaking on the challenges of youth restiveness, Mrs Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues, said, “We need to harness the energy of the youth because we don’t want that energy to be dissipated into the wrong things, especially the knowledge of technology to better our state.
“State government needs to bring them together, give them that sense of belonging and invest in its youth especially in the area of entrepreneurship, we could help them to tap into it, to develop it in such a way that it will be a win-win situation for the young people and government”.
In partnership and collaboration amongst stakeholders, ‘Degbola Lewis, Admin Director, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, said the private sector needs to understand that it is in their own self-interest to take care of the Youth, have good youth programs and mentoring for the youth.
“They should realise that they are going to build up the youth for their own interest and also that the youth are going to have to take over those companies.”
These engagements with critical stakeholders will stimulate innovative approaches to address the gaps and barriers in urban violence and harness opportunities for developing a platform.
The first phase of this project focuses on Urban Violence in Expanding Cities in Nigeria Search seeks to engage four pilot states, namely FCT, Lagos, Rivers, and Kano States. This project will lay the groundwork for ongoing multidisciplinary collaboration between scholars, practitioners, and policymakers on an issue that will be a growing priority for national and international policymakers over the next five to ten years.
Search for Common Ground (Search) is an international non-profit organization that promotes the peaceful resolution of conflict. Search’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict away from adversarial approaches and toward cooperative solutions. Search seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities.