By Muhammad Aminu
Youths have been advised to eschew hate speech and use new media constructively for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and peaceful coexistence in their communities.
A communication expert and media scholar, Dr Ruqayya Yusuf Aliyu, gave the advice while engaging youths in a Critical Knowledge Production Dialogue Organised by the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on Wednesday.
Dr Ruqayya, who discussed the Roles of Youths in Peace Building From a Communication Perspective, said youths play active roles in conflict and peacebuilding situations due to their agility and activeness.
She reminded the youths that peace and peaceful coexistence are the bedrock for the development of any society.
“Youths can be used for good or bad, peace or violence; hence it’s imperative that they know the importance of their roles in peacebuilding in their communities.
“Although conflict is inevitable in any society, managing it matters most in escalating or de-escalating the situation, ” she added.
“You can be partisan, but avoid hate speech and use new media positively.
According to her, communication is relevant in peace building through mobilisation, advocacy, persuasion and behaviour change among the youths.
In another development, CITAD, in collaboration with eTrash2Cash, has trained 220 low-income women on plastic waste entrepreneurship in Bauchi.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of eTrash2Cash Abdullahi Salisu said the participants were trained to convert plastic waste into weaved bags, shoes, bangles, and flower vases, among others.
He said:” Items made from these wastes seem so original and authentic that one cannot tell if they are made from the “wastes” we improperly dispose of. Perhaps, one of the main reasons why so much keen interest is evident in the faces of the women beneficiaries.”
Some of the beneficiaries expressed their appreciation for the opportunity.
Amina Bello and Hafsat Adamu said their newly acquired skills would enhance their living standard.
Hafsatu Adamu, while thanking the training organisers, said she benefitted greatly and had never known wastes could become useful in this way. “I’m proud to be a waste champion, and I will step down the training to my siblings, friends and immediate dependents,” she added.
According to Abdullahi Salisu, plans are underway to ensure that the trained women are continuously engaged and supported to keep cleaning the environment and support others to improve their lives and livelihoods.
Salisu said: “This social responsibility is continuous. It is non-stop. Other stakeholders have already expressed their interest to keep the impact going. We hope to keep engaging these beneficiaries through an innovation centre that will further help them in other areas of business development and entrepreneurship”.