We, members of the above coalition with over 50 youth organizations working on empowering youth, women and children on conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustainable development across Nigeria, recognize all efforts of the government both at local, state and federal levels to contain and prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. We commend the huge and positive steps taken including the closure of the nation’s air, land and sea borders, the release of over 2,600 inmates across correctional homes in Nigeria, the extension of the stay at home order and the ongoing distribution of conditional cash transfers to the indigent people among other initiatives.
As a coalition, our members are working in various parts of the nation with collective resolve to alleviate the destabilizing impact of COVID-19 and help our communities recover quickly from the pandemic through community sensitization and education, combating fake news, distribution of relief materials and monitoring of public policies.
As a coalition, we are also concerned about the brutalization of young people and the increasing rate of crimes and criminalities across various communities and states in Nigeria which is not unconnected with the negative effects of the total lockdown especially on young men and women who remain disconnected from their daily means of livelihood. Youths occupy more than 60% of the nation’s 180 million population and a majority of them rely on daily wage for survival.
We are calling on governments at all levels to take urgent steps in ensuring that there is equitable distribution of the socioeconomic palliatives across the six geo political zones in Nigeria so that the needs of young people and other vulnerable groups are also met. Without this, Nigeria’s peace and security will be threatened.
We therefore use this medium to appeal to all young men and women in Nigeria to support the efforts and initiatives of the government aimed at combating COVID-19, ensuring that there is public safety and reducing the rate of fatalities. Non-compliance has overwhelming consequences.
We appreciate the efforts of our health professionals who remain our heroes at this period.
Going forward, we make the following recommendations. Government should:
- Ensure that young men and women are not excluded from the ongoing palliatives and support.
- Make available more testing centers across all states and intensify the testing and contact tracing mechanism to allow for early detection and treatment.
- Follow up and ensure strict monitoring of discharged patients to ensure that there is no reinfection.
- Liaise with the private sector to ensure that workers do not lose their jobs during and after this period.
- Ensure utmost accountability and transparency measures in the disbursement of palliatives without iota of party politics. This will strengthen civil trust in the process and governance at large.
- Security agencies should ensure that their activities do not lead to human rights violations. Civic space must be protected.
Post-COVID19 global economy is being forecast in the negative, government should ensure that viable fiscal and monetary policies are made and implemented to help cushion the effects of the imminent global economic meltdown. This period offers an unusual opportunity for the government across all strata to equip and upgrade public health care facilities nationwide, it must be maximized.
As a coalition, we will continue to work towards service delivery, sensitization and education, monitoring and protection.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Signed by the following organizations:
- Building Blocks for Peace Foundation, Oyo State
- Kuye Foundation, Lagos state
- Soulace Africa, Oyo State
- Peace Education and Practice Network, Nigeria
- Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT), Yobe State
- Ladies Empowerment Goals and Support Initiative (LEGASI), Kaduna State
- Youth Evolve Platform, Lagos State
- Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (Nigeria)
- Youth Civil Activism Network Nigeria
- Youth Empowerment Advocacy and Good Governance Initiative (YEAGGI), Edo State
- Center for Youth Advocacy and Development (CEYAD), Abuja
- Leadworld Concerns, Akwa Ibom State
- Shannah Initiative for Human Development (SIHD), Ibadan, Oyo State
- African Peace Project (APP), Anambra State
- Angel Support Foundation (ASF), Benue State
- Tri-Adepoju Peace Foundation (TPF), Nigeria
- Brain Builders International, Kwara State
- Centre for the Defense of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, Lagos
- Galaxy for Peace and Integrity Initiative, Imo State
- Constructive Peace Initiative (CPI), Ogun State
- Mind Reformers Network, Lagos
- Building Bridges, Borno State
- Family and National Development Initiative, Lagos
- YIAGA Africa
- Almajiri Child Rights Initiative, Nigeria
- Kebbi State Peace Promoters Club, Kebbi State
- Pan African Youth Network for a Culture of Peace (PAYCoP), Nigeria
- United Network of Youth for Peace and Diplomacy UNYPD, Abuja
- Youth Initiative Against Violence & Human Rights Abuse –YIAVHA, Jos