The Regional Programme Coordinator for Youth Education and Gender Equality at Oxfam Ghana, Wumbei Dokurugu, has charged the youth to be vigilant enough so as not to be swayed by the adroitness of politicians to be used as working tools in their hands to promote violence before, during and after the December 7 polls.
He equally reminded young people to much aware that the critical resources owned by the country including the sustenance of the country depend on them therefore if care is not taken and they allow themselves to be used by the political actors to perpetrate mayhem in the run-up to this year’s election, the peace and stability the country enjoys is likely be undermined.
Mr. Dokurugu gave the advice while addressing the executive members of the Greater Accra Regional Youth Network (GARYN) at the office of the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) located in Accra.
The monitoring meeting was an avenue for Oxfam Ghana to brainstorm, dialogue, solicit views and identify challenges of youth groups across the country with the aim of helping find amicable solutions to them to engender youth development.
Elections are an essential part of the democratic process and organization, and a means to manage political competition and conflict in a peaceful way. However, when the political process fails in this regard elections can be a spark that leads to violence resulting, in the worst case, in significant loss of lives as has occurred in a number of places all over the world.
In Ghana since 1992 every election conducted has experienced some level of violence, depending on the intensity which varies from election to election. Indeed, history has taught us the youth form the majority group of people who are noted for perpetrating violence induced by political actors to their advantage which is a major concern.
But speaking on the issue in an interview on the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Dokurugu observed the youth should be very circumspect in their dealings with political actors particularly during this season in regards to the booty they stand to get to vote for them but rather focus attention on their development and that of the future generation.
“The development of the youth has nothing to do with what the politicians give them today, what they will be taking and asked to go and vote but what they will sustainably create to cater for them and the next generation to come that is what they should be pushing for.”
While suggesting a youth network formation as a game-changer to solving youth issues, he appealed to young people within the Greater Accra Region including other regions in the country to identify themselves as critical stakeholders, have a common agenda and identify themselves with that agenda by forming a network or movement to rally around the issues they want to change.
“The movement will amplify their voices, will let the duty bearers understand the seriousness of the issues if they all begin to push for that particular change they desire,” Mr. Dokurugu noted.
Touching on the rationale of the meeting which he described as a surprise familiarization tour to monitor youth networks across the country, he hinted that Oxfam is interested in providing support for youth development and this is “our bit of facilitating the empowerment of young people to mobilize their energies to amplify their voice when it comes to youth policy decision-making processes.”
As part of his tour, the Oxfam Ghana boss will cover seven regions across the country namely Oti, Volta, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Upper West and Upper East and Northern regions where he will touch base with youth groups such as the Oti (Dambai) Regional Youth Network, Volta Regional Youth Network, Greater Accra Regional Youth Network, Ashanti Regional Youth Network, including the Upper West and Upper East Regional Youth Networks.
For her part, Theodora Williams-Anti, Programmes of FOSDA charged the Greater Accra Regional Youth Network to rise up to the occasion and vigorously pursue the agenda of reaching out to more young people across the region with education on their focus and interest as well as on issues likely to influence their decision in the upcoming elections with particular attention on who to vote for.
Head of Public Relations of the Greater Accra Regional Youth Network, Joseph Kobla Wemakor thanked Mr. Dokurugu for the honor to have him visit, interact and educate them on the most critical decisions the Network ought to take towards its success and advancement.
The Greater Accra Regional Youth Network is a web of youth groups from various districts, metropolitan and municipal assemblies in the Greater Accra Region. The objective of the network is to promote youth empowerment in the region through advocacy and other projects that would transform the lives of the youth.