Written by the chapter leaders of SSDP Nigeria
The 21st of September was the International Day of Peace, and also marked the first SSDP programme SSDP featured at the University of Ibadan.
During a lecture on the topic “Youth, Peace and Security: The Need for Youth Involvement in Peace-Building” by Professor Tajudeen Akanji (Professor of Peace Studies), SSDP was introduced to the members present at the programme. A number of students were interested in learning more about the activities of SSDP, and 8 students ended up registering to become members of the group.
The centre of the event was on the role of youth as peace builders and their how young people can play an active role in development. The key theme of the event was “make peace with plants, not war”. The idea was to draw the attention of the participants to the harms of the drug war while also refocusing their understanding of drug policy towards peacebuilding and development
With young people being one of the primary victims of violence, the drug war, and social vices, the program threw a spotlight on the more positive role young people can play when constructively engaged on all levels rather than constantly stereotyping young people as perpetrators of negative vices. It was a call to all stakeholders to tap into the positive energy and diversity young people bring to every conversation. It encouraged participants to channel government efforts towards a more pro-active approach on youth issues, especially on drug issues and how they affect young people.