As part of its national sensitisation programme, ‘You Matter in This Matter’, Youth Hub Africa, an advocacy group operating across Africa, recently organised a two-day town hall meeting in Bauchi to enlighten young people about their rights.
The organisation said the initiative is aimed at the expansion of civic space, reduction of human rights violations, and facilitation of complaints and redressal mechanisms between citizens and security agencies, among others.
Abdullahi Yelwa, the programme facilitator, enlightened the participants on their responsibilities as citizens, as well as the rights and privileges they are entitled to.
He sensitised them on how to strengthen the relationship that exists between citizens and security agencies and how to contain human rights abuses from the agencies.
Yelwa said Youth Hub Africa is working closely with various stakeholders in Nigeria to provide technical support to state agencies and stakeholders to consider religious, cultural and legal frameworks and context-friendly policies that will suit the citizenry.
Participants were urged to understand their rights as enshrined in the constitution and exercise them without contravening the laws of the land.
Jeremiah Panshak, YouthHubAfrica’s field assistant, enlightened the youths on Value Clarification and Attitude Transformation (VCAT).
“VCAT is a way of readdressing cultural, religious and traditional beliefs that have, overtime, affected human reasoning and the adoption of new ideas,” he said.
During the programme, participants said VCAT is an in-depth opinion and value clarity exercise that would help in amplifying advocacy on any topical issues within the community and for different platforms.
They also said that for good relations to be sustained between the government and citizens, an active communications system citizens can channel their complaints and grievances to must exist, and that it must be built in a way that prompt responses can be obtained by the citizenry.
Government agencies present at the town hall program include the Nigeria Police Force; the National Human Rights Commission; Bauch State Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO); Bauchi State Vigilante; Yan Committee Security Team; National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bauchi chapter; and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Over 118 youths, including women, key stakeholders and government officials, were in attendance.
The meeting was supported by Onelife Initiative for Human Development, Cedar Seed Foundation and the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ).