A public health physician and senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, Dr. Doyin Ogunyemi, has revealed that 90 to 95 per cent of Nigerian adolescents and young adults are involved in violent conflicts.
Ogunyemi, made the declaration at the official launch of Peace Arena for Youth Foundation (PAY-F), a non-governmental organisation saddled with the creation of young leaders committed to the promotion of positive changes both in their immediate communities and the world in Lagos.
Ogunyemi, who is the director of PAY-F, said the foundation is set to teach young people to avert violence by incorporating a scientific approach and population perspective while integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines.
According to her, the foundation is aimed at providing education on leadership and peace building using ‘peacejam’s international education programme among young people in schools and communities while connecting young people with Nobel Peace Laureates.
She said: “We realise that the rate of youth violence has increased in Nigeria and many developing countries over the years. This, not only contribute to the global burden of premature deaths, injury and disability but also has a serious often lifelong impact on a person’s psychological and social functioning.
“At PAY-F, we aim to sensitize the youths in Nigeria around the issue of violence and its related societal consequences by raising them as peer educators through proven techniques.
“This programme was envisioned about seven years when I made my Bill Huntley Seminar Presentation. Youths are prosecutors of 90-95% of all violent conflicts in Nigeria.”
The public health physician said the objective of PAY-F was to empower people with leadership and conflict resolution skills and to improve their interpersonal relationships and team-building capabilities.
She said it would provide opportunities for budding leaders to take action in their local communities and globally, promote more peaceful and prosperous societies by advocating for fairness, equity and justice.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Deacon Seye Agboola said the importance of peace in the life of every nation cannot be over-emphasised.
He said no country can achieve greatness without a peaceful co-existence among people while he commended the host on the initiative.