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A delegation of the thematic group on Youth Development and Entrepreneurship led by Chief Aare Segun Oyedijo was at the WACSOF secretariat to discuss about their activities, the role and the support the secretariat can bring to strengthen their program on the youth engagement towards violent free elections. Briefing the Secretariat on their achievements since their Inauguration, the team Lead, Chief Aare Segun Oyedijo noted that the Youth Development and Entrepreneurship Thematic Group has been able to engage the National Assembly on some necessary adjustments the Legislative House can make on the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) law. The Thematic Group also met with the Director General of the NYSC to review the SAED program framework in order to enhance its implementation and monitoring. They have reached an agreement with a consortium of some youth related CSOs in Nigeria in order to form a synergy and work together for the implementation and monitoring of programs in the Ministry of Sport and Youth Development and Ministry of Education.

Chief Oyedijo recalled that violence especially involving youth has become a trademark of most elections at all levels in Nigeria. As the use of the youths to unleash violence during the campaigns and elections proper stairs at the country’s face, it is now pertinent to sensitize and educate the youth at all levels of the community and through all available media to shun violence and avoid being negatively used as most politicians who might engage them have safely kept their children in foreign countries. Chief Oyedijo solicited the collaboration of the Secretariat to work out a strategic plan and proposal for a program on the education and sensitization of the Nigerian Youth towards against violence and thuggery.

Also speaking, the Secretary of the Thematic Group, Barrister Michael Awo Ejeh stated that WACSOF being the umbrella covering all the civil society organizations in West Africa should have a say in the sensitization, education and engagement of the Nigerian Youth for a violence free 2023 election in Nigeria.

Responding on behalf of the Secretariat, Mimiwar Ahile, the Program Officer commended the Youth Development and Entrepreneurship Thematic Group for the work done so far. She promised that the regional Secretariat will give all the necessary and available support the Thematic Group may need in order to carry out successfully the program if approved by the WACSOF Executive Committee. She advised the group to send the concept note of the program in order to develop a viable proposal if given the mandate by the decision-making body of the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF).

Chief Aare Segun Oyedijo of Better Days Global Foundation, the Team Lead of Youth Development Thematic Group was accompanied by Barrister Michael Awo Ejeh of Ogedege Community Development Foundation, Sade Abioye (Mrs.) of Genius Skills and Faith Ayegba (Mrs.) of Cal-Maj Foundation. Others at the meeting were Mimiwar Ahile and Saahadat Djody, WACSOF Program officer and Advocacy Officer respectively. Other staff of WACSOF at the meeting were Florence Olatunbosun and John Okoreni.

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